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[P]
On the Front Page and Maintaining a Reasonable amount of Content

By the ghost of rmg in Meta
Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 01:42:59 PM EST
Tags: Round Table (all tags)
Round Table

Shortly after the election, Atrios posted a short piece on how to build the popularity of a blog. In it, his number one recommendation was to update frequently — at least once per day. People do not bother reading sites that only update once every several days. This, in case there is still confusion amongst those who run this fair website, is why the diary section overtook the regular article sections in terms of hits.

In order to avoid stagnation, history tells us, we need a constant influx of new users. At present, however, the only good reason to register a new account is when your old one gets banned. There is simply not enough front page content to attract the interest of potential new users. Additionally, without the life line provided by freshmeat.net's syndication of kuro5hin (ended some time last year), we need substantially more provocative and note-worthy content if we are to bring in fresh blood.

There are two simple administrative actions that could quickly allieviate the current front page content situation.


  1. Put all articles that pass the queue on the front page. At present, there simply is not enough content to justify throwing it away by putting it in so-called "section pages." It is pretty widely recognized that fewer people read the stories only voted to section than the ones on the front page. As such, there is less discussion. This is a pretty clear contravention of the stated purposes of the site.

    At the same time, putting all articles on the front page creates the impression of having more content. It is easy for someone just passing through not to notice the stories in the section box and since there's no date on them, there's no way to know how often Kuro5hin is actually updated. An outsider's impression would be that this place is a ghost town &mdash which is not so far from the truth, depending on how you look at it. As long as the site looks dead, it will stay dead.

    There is a reason Slashdot and every other blog in existence puts all its content on the front page: It's stupid not to.

    This change would have the added advantage of freeing up screen real estate left behind by the late section box. Either the diary box could be promoted or, better, a recommended diary box after the style of the Daily Kos could be added.

  2. Reduce the post threshhold — a lot. Right now, the effect of the threshhold is not to increase the quality of content. It requires such a large majority that it has a levelling effect. Authors are given no quarter to opine or present something unusual or out of the ordinary. If an article just slightly upsets ten readers, it's dead on arrival because those ten in addition to the usual, apparently random voting practices of the rest will guarantee the article won't get the seventy percent majority it needs.

    But it is precisely the irresponsible opinions and unusual takes on things that make a site interesting. If we throw them out in the service of content by consensus, we undermine any advantage a site like this one can have. Democracy then becomes a weakness rather than a strength.

    Writers here must submit their stories, edit them, watch often bizarre criticisms pop up, sometimes having to act as a rapid response unit to avoid the dreaded ten -1s it takes to kill the article, then wait and wait for the article to be posted or rejected. More often than not, everyone votes within 18 hours and the author has to wait the rest of the 36 hours to see what autopost decides.

    With the current number of regular readers, a post threshhold of 40 or 50 should be fine. Articles would go up relatively quickly, so authors would be spared the trouble of the wait, and articles would need a much more reasonable majority to make it. Of course, the right way to do this would be to implement a real quorum system and get rid of this bizarre threshhold concept, but that's probably just a fantasy.

With these changes, we will have a better chance of new and interesting content getting voted up. Such content will be more likely to attract new users by inspiring linkage from other sites. These new users will be more likely to stay if they see that Kuro5hin's front page is updated frequently, say once or twice daily, as opposed to the current appearance of once or twice weekly.

While there are probably other, even better, ways to revitalize this site, none of them are likely to happen for the simple reason that they would require significant changes to the code that runs this site or the attitudes of those who control it. The changes proposed here require neither and merely tweaks targetted to have the maximum benefit. They can be made with the push of a few buttons on the scoop admin page.

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Display: Sort:
On the Front Page and Maintaining a Reasonable amount of Content | 405 comments (392 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
When you have nothing to say.... (2.76 / 13) (#2)
by StephenThompson on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 04:00:38 PM EST

Why does K5 need to follow popular media's need for constant churn?  I think what makes K5 compelling is that it has standards that it doesnt need to sacrifice for the bottom line and ego gratification.

The internet is full of throw-away blogging, we really don't need more of it.  Maybe K5 won't be the most popular flavor of the month, but it will still be respected for trying to raise the level of quality.

as human beings, (1.66 / 3) (#4)
by the ghost of rmg on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 04:42:52 PM EST

we like things that are interesting and lively. right now, we are looking at stagnation, not an austere adherence to "standards."

having a lively, active userbase cannot be dismissed as simply "being the most popular flavor of the month." this is the sort of mentality that makes this place fail.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

I guess (none / 1) (#18)
by gdanjo on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 07:30:35 PM EST

that's why Fox news is so popular. It's "interesting and lively", that is undenyable. But its also shit.

My personal opinion is that once your goal is to "up the hit rate", you cannot help but "reduce the quality" - this happens whether you're talking about web pages, selling products, selling ideas, etc. I think rusty has a good nose for tweaking the site to achieve a good balance of quality vs. quantity, and I fail to see the constant warcry of "K5 is dying" materialise. In fact, I consider it a sign that it is alive and well, even if it is not ever-expanding or defining new paradigms for boxthinkers everywhere. It's just rusty's place, and I happen to like the 'roaches :-)

One man's stagnation is another man's maturity.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

you're wrong. (2.00 / 2) (#19)
by the ghost of rmg on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 07:41:19 PM EST

take the example of liberal blogs. the daily kos is undeniably the best game in town. why? because it has a lively user community. you ask a question about some obscure piece of political minutiae and someone knows the answer. it's amazing.

when you have sites like this one where the content depends on user participation, your quality goes up, not down, as the size of the userbase increases. with more people comes more diversity and knowledge -- these are the key ingredients to a site like this one. you get more writers too, which is obviously a plus.

and i won't be drawn into commenting on rusty's nose at this juncture.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

so (none / 1) (#28)
by gdanjo on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 10:16:39 PM EST

you want another daily kos?

There's a balance between fresh-meat and mature-cheese that every active weblog site needs to find. Go too fresh, and you get crud like Slashdot. Go too mature, and you get old-man-smelly sites like Husi.

Any change you make to K5 will change the participants, and I for one like my little K5 rut I have going on here. Don't tinker with my 'hood, yo, is all I'm's sayin'.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Political forums (none / 1) (#232)
by Drog on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 02:58:16 PM EST

you want another daily kos?

I read daily kos now and then and I'm always stunned by the amount of activity there. But it's only about American politics, and only from the left-wing perspective of the Democrats. With the world being such a big place, I think there is plenty of room for other political blogs that either deal with politics outside the U.S. or at least have both left- and right-wing opinions.

Looking for political forums? Check out "The World Forum". News feed available here on K5.
[ Parent ]

A good nose? (none / 1) (#37)
by QuickFox on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 11:43:24 PM EST

I think rusty has a good nose for tweaking the site

You don't get it, do you? If Rusty had a good nose he could rest ordinary glasses on it and wouldn't need a monocle.

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fi
[ Parent ]

What stagnation? (3.00 / 2) (#157)
by mcgrew on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 07:48:15 PM EST

I see ten articles on the front page, all written in the last week. That's over one FP per day on average. Where's the problem, except that you can't get your trolling posted?

Hell, the "how to quit smoking" article I wrote a couple of years back stayed on the front page for a MONTH!

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

I totally agree... (2.50 / 6) (#3)
by skyknight on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 04:34:12 PM EST

about the section page versus front page gripe. I see no compelling reason to relegate stuff thusly, especially given the low throughput at present. It just doesn't make any sense. I'd be perfectly happy to see everything just presented in a single queue, without any of this section page nonsense.

I also think that the present threshold system with -1 voting is a bad idea. I would much prefer simple approval voting. Right now, there is really no distinction between a vote that went 280/300 and 10/30. Both have a net score of -20 and are dropped, yet clearly the former is worth posting. The voting system thus ignores valuable information.

If there is a critical mass of people who like a story, why should we care how many people dislike it? It's much better to wade through a few too many stories than to have a total dearth of content. I can filter junk, but I am powerless to fix a lack of content short of posting stuff myself.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
The voting system does pay attention to quality (none / 0) (#59)
by wiredog on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 09:02:22 AM EST

by looking at the number and rating of comments.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
I suppose it does, (3.00 / 2) (#60)
by skyknight on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 09:08:06 AM EST

if you presume that the number of comments is a good indicator of the quality of an article. Really, though, a large number of comments may simply indicate that the piece was controversial. This is usually easy with politics, but a good technical article, or a recipe, or similar such things may not generate very many comments, and yet it may be widely appreciated. Also, given the degenerate way in which most people rate comments, I fail to see this as being a particularly useful thing. There's no distinction with the comments as to whether the range is meant to imply "I [agree|disagree|don't care]" or "this is a [well|mediocrely|poorly] constructed comment, irrespective of my views". There is no way for me, as an example, to vote in a way that expresses that I appreciate the contribution of the commentator but disagree with their conclusions.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Diary nomination (3.00 / 13) (#8)
by Stylusepix on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 06:11:38 PM EST

There should be a way to nominate diaries for the Front Page. If the diary gets enough nominations, it appears in the main moderation queue.

As it is right now, there are some really good diary entries that never make it to the front page.
Go; you're an it-getter, but No; it's all in good fun (and games). Laugh, in stock?

nomination would be the first step toward deletion (none / 1) (#9)
by the ghost of rmg on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 06:56:50 PM EST

if i were diarist, i'd be pissed if my diary got nominated. after being moved to the queue, it would get voted down in a 238-204 vote (yes, you read that right: welcome to kuro5hin) and deleted because it's just such a good idea to completely eliminate stories that get "voted down."


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
Then it shouldn't work that way. (3.00 / 3) (#10)
by APL on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 07:09:29 PM EST

If it gets voted down it should just be droped back into the dairy.

[ Parent ]
s/dairy/diary [nt] (3.00 / 2) (#11)
by APL on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 07:10:31 PM EST

Moo.

[ Parent ]
Whew (none / 1) (#72)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 10:51:20 AM EST

For a moment, I thought you wanted to dump stories in milk!
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Your sig (none / 1) (#152)
by mcgrew on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 07:43:36 PM EST

Dude, just get the niccotine patch and you won't jones for a cig like that!

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Don't move it (3.00 / 5) (#12)
by Stylusepix on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 07:12:12 PM EST

It wouldn't be moved from the diary section; it would simply appear in the queue as well. It would remain a diary no matter how well or how poorly it fares in the queue.

I also think stories that get voted down should be archived and remain availaible.
Go; you're an it-getter, but No; it's all in good fun (and games). Laugh, in stock?
[ Parent ]

yes, that would be good. (3.00 / 2) (#13)
by the ghost of rmg on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 07:15:48 PM EST

i would like to see that happen.

on the matter of stories that are voted down, i think most people agree with you. i certainly do. there is one very important person who doesn't, unfortunately.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Well.. (none / 0) (#16)
by Stylusepix on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 07:19:07 PM EST

You're well underway to the Front Page with your story. It'll generate discussion, and it'll be noticed by the monocled powers that be.
Go; you're an it-getter, but No; it's all in good fun (and games). Laugh, in stock?
[ Parent ]
Won't help (none / 0) (#58)
by wiredog on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 09:01:05 AM EST

Some of us have been asking for a 'move to diary if dumped' option for years.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
The Hulver site tried that, and now it's dying (2.75 / 4) (#14)
by Adam Rightmann on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 07:16:43 PM EST

I think there's a lesson to be learned.

[ Parent ]
Is that really why The Hulver is dying ? (3.00 / 2) (#15)
by Stylusepix on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 07:18:01 PM EST

I think that there are many other reasons.
Go; you're an it-getter, but No; it's all in good fun (and games). Laugh, in stock?
[ Parent ]
Could it be style over controversy? (3.00 / 5) (#25)
by Adam Rightmann on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 10:00:12 PM EST

The ability to display images, choose spiffy icons and use The Hole, all while being afraid to post four diaries a day for fear of being banned?

Plus the whole hostility to newbies over there, nothing at all like the warm embrace a new, uneducated user receives at Kuro5hin.

[ Parent ]

So what? (2.50 / 2) (#31)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 10:29:33 PM EST

Hulver's got a small community running on a small box. Until recently he wasn't keeping more than a few months' worth of archives anyway.

As far as I'm concerned, its small size is the Husi's big attraction.

I never said that.
[ Parent ]

Uh. Yeah. (1.50 / 2) (#22)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 09:06:13 PM EST

In what sense is Husi dying?

I never said that.
[ Parent ]
There's a whole lack of new users (none / 1) (#24)
by Adam Rightmann on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 09:57:46 PM EST

and a decline in diaries, check with the God loving snail.

[ Parent ]
do we need new users? (2.50 / 2) (#29)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 10:20:09 PM EST

I'd be happy if Hulver could keep the site up for more than a week at a time.

But, seriously, there's only 5-10 people whose diaries I actually read, so it doesn't bother me at all if new users are thin.

How big does a community need to be to be successful?

I never said that.
[ Parent ]

Even if it *were* dying (none / 1) (#242)
by frijolito on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 06:11:14 PM EST

...(I wouldn't know), why would you presume the reason to be diary nomination?

[ Parent ]
NO PLEASE GOD NO!!!! (none / 0) (#151)
by mcgrew on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 07:42:43 PM EST

Not mine, any way!

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

*shrug* - so put in a flag (none / 1) (#177)
by jongleur on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 10:35:08 PM EST

"I don't want this open for voting to FP."
--
"If you can't imagine a better way let silence bury you" - Midnight Oil
[ Parent ]
Yeah. (none / 1) (#244)
by Driusan on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 06:16:25 PM EST

Maybe you can call it "The Hole." You can make it invisible to non-logged in users, and maybe have a different colour scheme for it. I suggest a black theme. Maybe you can make it so things posted to The Hole don't get archived either, since clearly the reason for putting something there would be so that it doesn't come back and bite you in the ass later.

It's fucking brilliant!


--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]

There is a flag (none / 0) (#268)
by rusty on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:34:25 AM EST

It's called "submitting a story to the queue." :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Put all articles that pass the queue on the... (1.33 / 3) (#17)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 07:21:01 PM EST

front page.

Not quite right. Rahter, let's have a particular quota of front page articles... I'm sure you'd agree to something like "at least 2 FP articles a day, once those were met, start putting SP-voted stories back into section". That way, we aren't getting rid of it, just working hard to fill the front page first, and not relegating any stories to section until that goal is met.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.

what happens if... (2.50 / 2) (#39)
by kpaul on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 12:00:41 AM EST

two 'less than stellar' (i.e. section pieces) get posted to the homepage early and then later in the day a 'straight to FP in under an hour' (remember those days? did they exist?) comes along. do the two section stories stay on the homepage?

as a writer (and a reader) i like it being more difficult to get to k5's FP. sure, there are loopholes and anamolies, but hey, it's k5. as i said once before, is it working? who knows for sure.

maybe it's not dying (tis just a flesh wound!) but rather hibernating for a while. instead of letting more writers to the FP, the readership of k5 needs to help get good writers to join the community.

how to do that? mod the trolls down and offer helpful (or funny) comments. (note: the same joke over and over isn't funny ;)


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Maybe... (none / 0) (#40)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 12:36:41 AM EST

Dynamically resection them, once a worthy FP story comes along. But I wouldn't get rid of section, or once this fix is working and we have alot of activity, then we'll have a problem in *not* having a section area.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
i don't know... (none / 0) (#41)
by kpaul on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 12:41:15 AM EST

if you put them on the homepage then yank them to section, what's that saying?

i maintain that the solution is to solicit better writers rather than lower the standards.

hey, we can disagree, tho ;)

i bet if you ask rusty, he'll tell you that traffic fluctuates. i'm hoping that Google piece i did attracts some fresh meat to k5...


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

servile. (3.00 / 2) (#42)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 12:54:46 AM EST

we should not be willing to put up with artificial barriers created by thoughtless administration. a system that requires a seventy percent majority is obviously broken as is a system that throws your work into a place that no one reads. writers are understandably unwilling to write under those circumstances.

the answer to the writer problem is to make writing less of a hassle. it's not that we don't have enough decent writers, it's that it's too much trouble and you're liable to get your submission rejected anyway.

reasonably well-written, intelligently argued articles should never, ever be rejected. when the system does not have this property, it needs to be fixed. that's all there is to it.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

hence, user 'levels'... (2.50 / 2) (#45)
by kpaul on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 01:18:22 AM EST

for lack of a better term. kinda like a k5 experience system. the more you're trusted (voted as trustworthy by another user, number of stories posted, etc.) the heavier your vote counts in the queue.

this way, the people who really care about k5 are pushing more stuff to the FP, not just any nullo/troll who's having a bad day and wants to try to game the system to feel better anonymously...

that would probably mean a heavy scoop rewrite, though.

hulver? rusty? janra? anyone? ;)


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

I doubt it (2.50 / 2) (#50)
by janra on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 02:54:41 AM EST

Maybe if it were a privilege the admin handed out, but not if it were automatically calculated. Like "trusted user status" (remember that?) having an automated system encourages gaming by the very people I'd rather discourage.
--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]
Of course... (none / 0) (#61)
by skyknight on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 09:11:32 AM EST

having a system where the trusted users hand out special status is also dangerous, in that it promotes a self-reinforcing mentality that could snowball in an unfortunate way.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
depends on the mentality being promoted... (2.50 / 2) (#94)
by janra on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 01:36:30 PM EST

After all, if users who contribute to the discussion at hand (note: this doesn't necessarily mean they agree) are rewarded and users who post inane drivel and attempt to disrupt the discussion at hand are penalized, I don't see this being unfortunate :-)
--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]
Sure... (2.00 / 2) (#96)
by skyknight on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 01:47:51 PM EST

and the best kind of government is that of a benevolent dictatorship, but good luck getting a dictator to be benevolent. :-)

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
rusty has been a hands-off dictator (2.50 / 2) (#99)
by janra on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 01:58:47 PM EST

a bit too benevolent for my taste, really :-)

Scoop allows for democracy, but like any software that has a superuser, there is a 'dictator' who can at whim delete accounts, change articles, and remove comments.

I hold out the hope that with a bit of guidance and prompt anonymization of habitual jackasses as they are found, this site can again become a place where intelligent discussions are possible.

Am I an idealist? probably. But this is why I'm still around.
--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]

Well... (3.00 / 2) (#206)
by skyknight on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 07:47:50 AM EST

Being benevolent doesn't just mean being hands-off. Being benevolent, more generally, just means always acting in the best interests of the system as opposed to the dictator doing whatever he fancies at the moment. I commend Rusty for all the work that he has done, but clearly something has gone awry with K5 as of late. I'm holding out hope that it can be fixed, but the K5 of present day is incredibly dead compared to the vibrant thing it was a couple of years ago. I remember my chief annoyance with the diary section back then was that my diary would get pushed off the front page in less than an hour because so many people were posting. Today, my frustration is when we don't even get a full page worth of diaries in the course of a day.

I personally don't think that the "habitual jackasses" are that big of a problem, but that might just be my own perspective as the result of a thick skin. They just don't bother me that much. If I find something distasteful, I can readily scroll past it. What's more troubling is when there is no content at all.

I have always felt that the K5 voting system was broken. To me, it makes no sense to drop articles simply because there is a large number of people who dislike it. Far more useful, as I see it, would be to judge an article simply on how many positive responses it evinces. If a lot of people find an article entertaining, I don't care how many people dislike it. As such, I think we should just have approval voting, and the threshold for posting should be some fraction of the average of the number of unique users in a given day. I think that we have frustrated a lot of authors into not posting anymore, and now we have a paucity of material. This is a realy shame, as while articles are just component of K5, they are the source from which huge and fascinating comment trees grow. Even the most mediocre of pieces can engender fascinating and vigorous debate in the comments.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
true enough (none / 0) (#226)
by janra on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 02:12:25 PM EST

hands-off doesn't mean benevolent.

I think (one of) the problem(s) is that rusty was very hands-off - he has stated in the past that k5 is an experiment in a self-directed democratic web community (my paraphrase). As such, he was trusting to story voting and comment rating to keep the trolls and habitual jackasses in line.

This didn't seem to work, and so now the admins do quite a bit more running around smacking down idiots to prevent them from recreating their voting bloc. (A bit easier now that Trusted User status doesn't mean anything.)

The "habitual jackasses" don't seem as much of a problem now because they're anonymized as soon as they're noticed.

I've said before that some of the admin actions should be visible to the users. This will let the users know that the admins are there, and do care about the site - I've noticed that one of the complaints of users is that admins don't care, and one of the things that encourages idiots is the perception that nobody cares enough to clean up their mess and kick them out. When rusty was hands-off, about the only thing that got cleaned up was stuff that messed up the formatting of the page or illegal items (blatant harassment and so on). It's no wonder that a lot of the regular diarizers left for a place with more active admins.

I've been watching the k5 admins for a few years now, since the k5 admin group and the scoop developer group overlap a lot. Both groups will often have their "management discussions" in the presence of the other, and while Scoop is my primary focus, I have always been interested in how k5 is managed.
--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]

Well, the thing to remember about democracy... (none / 0) (#277)
by skyknight on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:07:35 AM EST

is that it is not an inherently good thing in and of itself. It is merely a foundation for many different types of systems, only a small subset of which can ultimately prove to be good, and even then only under the right circumstances. Look no further than gerrymandering if you need proof of that. Democracy can be a tyranny all the more terrible than despotism if it goes off the rails, as it often does.

I think that a refusal to tweak the parameters of the K5 democracy is a bit of a mistake. We're in an odd situation. We have a democracy of sorts, but the terms of the democracy are handed down by a dictator. What I think would be more interesting, quite fascinating actually, is if K5 were to have a Konstitution that was mandated by Rusty, with the specifics of how the site is run up to democratic vote governed by said Konstitution.

K5 is not a social experiment in democracy as much as it is a social experiment for a very specific instantiation of democracy. As such, I don't think that any particularly sweeping conclusions can be drawn from the outcome of K5 about democracy. We can only draw conclusions about a very specific and flawed democratic system.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
a Konstitution (none / 0) (#294)
by janra on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 01:31:25 PM EST

like what rusty suggested here?
--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]
Well, what happened to that? (none / 0) (#306)
by skyknight on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:18:51 PM EST

Why haven't I heard of this before now? Did the idea just sputter out?

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
I think (none / 0) (#308)
by janra on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:28:28 PM EST

it morphed into the CMF and then sputtered out.

A shame, really. I wonder if rusty would be open to reviving the idea.
--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]

The CMF... (none / 0) (#309)
by skyknight on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:36:19 PM EST

never really struck me as a constitutional entity. It seemed to lack anything resembling transparency or accountability, which is really a shame given the outpouring of donations it received. The lesson to be learned there, and one I've learned in other realms of life, is that you must dictate the terms of operation before you lay your money down. When done in the other order, there is no leverage to be had. Probably some kind of escrow system would have made the most sense. Rusty basically said "I need money to keep this going", and he got that money, but there wasn't really ever any specification for how the money would be spent, and there was never accounting for how it ultimately went.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
no, not automatic... (none / 0) (#75)
by kpaul on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 11:10:01 AM EST

have the kabal or the editors do it....


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

hey! (none / 0) (#86)
by gwooph on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 12:28:50 PM EST

There is no K5 Kabal!

[ Parent ]
of course there isn't (none / 0) (#95)
by janra on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 01:39:00 PM EST

I don't know where he got that idea...
--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]
d'oh! sorry i meant the anti-kpaul kabal... ;) /nt (none / 0) (#100)
by kpaul on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 02:02:53 PM EST


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
now why (none / 0) (#102)
by janra on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 02:07:55 PM EST

would either of us want the anti-kpaul kabal to have any power?
--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]
i'm gonna stop now... (none / 0) (#106)
by kpaul on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 02:24:02 PM EST

before i sound sillier than i already do (if that's at all possible ;)

i didn't mean kabal, i meant, "a clique (often secret) that seeks power usually through intrigue ..." ;)

seriously, tho, i think you know what i mean. that is, no automatic system that can be gamed - a software/humanware solution. gatekeepers/editors are gonna be needed for a while now......


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

The cabal doesn't exist (none / 0) (#155)
by mcgrew on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 07:46:18 PM EST

Shhh! STFU before you get in trouble ;)

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Bullhit. (none / 0) (#154)
by mcgrew on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 07:45:42 PM EST

"reasonably well-written, intelligently argued articles should never, ever be rejected."

I've seldom seen a well written, intelligently argued article rejected. There have been articles I voted for that were rejected, but the ones that stand out are always posted. far more often than an article I like getting dumped is a total, steaming pile of poorly written shit, teeming with typos and factual innacuracies getting posted (if only to section).

I like K5 a lot less than I did a year ago, when it seemed the articles were better. Now we get typos like "&dash" on th efront page. It makes me ashamed to be a member!

I salute your trolling abilities, you should be proud of yourself that this particular typo-ridden piece got posted. I'll bet the "typo" was deliberate and you're all smug and laughing about it!

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

if you want me to bite, (none / 0) (#169)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 09:03:41 PM EST

just say please.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
How's that a problem? (none / 0) (#66)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 09:22:53 AM EST

Stories disappear from the front page all the time (well not so often, maybe), in that new ones are posted, and that there's only so much room. How would this be different? They were voted to section anyway, so a little extra exposure should be welcome, shouldn't it?

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
IHBT (2.00 / 2) (#20)
by momocrome on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 07:43:48 PM EST

Slashdot does not put every article on the front page. far from it. I guess that only serves to prove your point though. :(

"Give a wide berth to all that foam and spray." - - Lucian, The Way to Write History
On the Capitalisation of arbitrary Words (2.12 / 8) (#21)
by it certainly is on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 08:16:55 PM EST

I shall Vote this with the Option of +1SP.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.

Not sure about your premise (2.57 / 7) (#23)
by JanneM on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 09:25:43 PM EST

You opine (or rather assert another writers opinion) that you need to update daily or you will lose a substantial number of readers. Blogs are given as example.

I'm not convinced about that. When you look at blogs with a large readership, a number of them are not updated daily at all (Joel on software comes to mind). Quality of the material accounts for more than frequency.

Still, frequency is not without importance. Those reading stuff using their browser only would normally do a "daily round" to their sites, and you do risk being taken off the list of those people if you uppdate too infrequently. But this has become steadily less important.

First, people reading in that manner will tend to define "bookmark groups", and once a site has been added, there is quite a bit of inertia to remove it again. A new piece a couple times a week is probably sufficient to keep people - given that the pieces are of high enough quality. Also, more and more people use RSS aggregators to track what they read, and there it just about doesn't matter at all. I have blogs in my aggregator that uppdate a couple of times a month. They cost me zero time and effort to check, so they remain as long as the material they do publish is interesting.

One thing that is true, though, is that at least I never actually read the stories once they end up on the front page. I've already sen them in the edit queue, and by the time they are "published", they are old hat. Effectively, the edit queue is the current headlines, and voting is only about whether the story should be archived or not. Not sure how to change that, really.

---
Trust the Computer. The Computer is your friend.

the nature of my activity here (2.50 / 4) (#26)
by the ghost of rmg on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 10:15:12 PM EST

gives me certain insights into the browsing patterns of users here. for one thing, i happen to know that readership of section only stories is at least 30% lower compared to the front page. i also happen to know that there is a substantial upturn in page views shortly after publication on the front page.

but this does not negate your point about the queue. it would obviously be better for stories to get out of the queue in much more timely fashion.

on your question about frequency: the first point is that this site is, no matter how you cut it, a blog, so other blogs are the most pertinent available examples. while it's true that you might be able to maintain readers by virtue of expertise or other qualities, it is unlikely to be the case here. it doesn't matter anyway though: what can you do? ask everyone to just write better articles? it's ridiculous.

beyond that, the bookmarking behavior you talk about is a figment of your imagination. most people do not, in fact, screw around with that stuff. rather, they know a few sites that they go back and check now and then. sites that don't update drop off their rotation. even if someone does have a bookmark, though, they will stop checking it if they find that updates are sufficiently infrequent. it becomes a waste of time at some point.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Original content. (none / 0) (#263)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:17:04 AM EST

Most of the sites that I visit that are updated daily don't produce original content. Take a look at Slashdot, Fark, Engadget, Boing Boing, Metafilter, etc. Most of these blogs are links to something else.

The blogs that mostly produce original content--something more than a "look at this" with commentary--are updated maybe only every one or two weeks. These kind of sites rarely drop off my list because don't expect them to update oftern if the first place.

I suppose it depends what you want out of K5, articles or discussion.

[ Parent ]

Is the purpose of K5 popularity? -nt- (2.80 / 5) (#27)
by proles on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 10:15:31 PM EST


If there is hope, it lies in the proles.
is it bad to have readers? (2.25 / 4) (#30)
by the ghost of rmg on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 10:26:10 PM EST

do you think these straightforward changes should be rejected on the grounds that they might make the site more popular?


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
Does answering a question with a question... (2.00 / 2) (#33)
by proles on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 10:32:32 PM EST

...really answer the question?
If there is hope, it lies in the proles.
[ Parent ]
some questions don't deserve answers. (2.50 / 6) (#34)
by the ghost of rmg on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 10:34:12 PM EST

a question that calls the premises of another question into question is often better than an answer.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
But not always? [nt] (1.33 / 3) (#52)
by monkeymind on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 05:00:53 AM EST


I believe in Karma. That means I can do bad things to people and assume the deserve it.
[ Parent ]

Isn't that exactly... (2.50 / 2) (#82)
by proles on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 12:20:39 PM EST

...what my initial question did?
If there is hope, it lies in the proles.
[ Parent ]
Also... (none / 0) (#234)
by proles on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 03:07:06 PM EST

...does your question really do that?
If there is hope, it lies in the proles.
[ Parent ]
...asked the proles. (2.50 / 2) (#32)
by killmepleez on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 10:29:41 PM EST



__
"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."
--from "J
[ Parent ]
k5 would lose its elitism... (2.40 / 5) (#35)
by kpaul on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 11:11:19 PM EST

maybe it was another comment below (or above or whatever) but someone said k5 is not just another blog wanker site. or something to that effect.

k5 is elitist, but that makes the stories that post here mean something (at least for the writer/author...)

i do think the post threshold should be looked at, though, as k5 eds are (i think) having to force some stories through. semi-related, i still vote for some kind of 'level system' here at k5 - if you have a lot of (good) posts, and stories, you have different priveleges (SP)...

i hope this posts, tho, so we can at least discuss it some. i'm back from other towns (sites) and want to feel a part of the community for a while before i drift off again ;)

anyway...


2014 Halloween Costumes

look, you can't be elitist (3.00 / 3) (#36)
by the ghost of rmg on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 11:30:46 PM EST

unless you're elite. well, you could be, but then you'd just be a sycophant, not a real elitist.

it's hard to see how a site like this one can realistic hold onto its elitism. the days when this site could legitimately said to be better than slashdot are long gone. right now, any residual elitism is only holding the site back.

blogs are where it's at right now, regardless of what anyone here might have to say about it. places like atrios, instapundit, and the rest vastly outperform this place both in quality and quantity. there are hundreds of blogs out there that are much better than this site overall.

but i, and i think many other people here, have an irrational sentimental attachment to this place and stay here for that reason. amongst them, i would rather see this site get better than find another blog. it may be silly, but that seems to be what this is all about.

the idea that you are too good for this or that almost always does nothing more than hold you back. that is what is going on here. we are being held back because we cling to notions that we are better than slashdot, better than "blog wankers," better than this and that because of our strange ways -- ways like throwing away most our stories.

well, it ain't so. it's time to re-evaluate our position here and chart a new course. this site should get better, not worse, between now and next month, between now and three months from now. it would be a welcome change of pace.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

wow... (none / 0) (#38)
by kpaul on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 11:56:24 PM EST

now that you're a ghost i kinda agree with you... ;)

just kidding. nice thoughts. and as i said, i hope this gets voted to the FP because of potential for discussion...

also, i guess i meant elite in a more general sense...


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Name two. nt (none / 0) (#150)
by mcgrew on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 07:40:29 PM EST


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

tacitus.org (none / 0) (#210)
by WetherMan on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 11:08:21 AM EST

political content only of course, but yea, they've got a better community right now.
---
fluorescent lights make me look like old hot dogs
[ Parent ]
There's a downside to that... (none / 1) (#149)
by mcgrew on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 07:40:06 PM EST

I had a swelled head for a week after the "dead tech" story shot to FP almost as fast as my "Why Spelling Matter" got voted down.

And we all know that pride comes before a fall. I'm sure to (at least) ambarras myself now, particularly since I discovered that some of my meatspace friends read K5.

This is a BAD thing.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

A better idea: (1.25 / 4) (#43)
by ubernostrum on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 01:03:01 AM EST

Anything I write gets posted FP. Anything I vote up gets posted FP. I'll try to make sure that k5 gets at least two articles a day posted, and that'll drive its popularity up dramatically.




--
You cooin' with my bird?
Verdict (2.22 / 9) (#44)
by felixrayman on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 01:03:43 AM EST

Not good enough for the front page, but I gave it a +1, section.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

lollers (none / 0) (#46)
by zrail on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 01:36:43 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Good ideas about (1.50 / 2) (#55)
by Stinky Bottoms on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 08:17:20 AM EST

the post thresh-hold. 80 or 90 or whatever it is sucks and then only absolutely perfect articles or things by people that everyone likes go up.

I mean, there are a few writers here that have the K5 version of celebrity and they could fart out a sheet of poo-sopts and it would make it to the front page.0

Not so for the rest of us. So, ultimately, the democracy becomes an autocracy through voting.  i'ts like a Banana Republic. Or the Ukraine, or something.

As for frontpage and sectionpage, who cares. I don't read any articles but my own. However, that doesn't mean I don't want to see them posted.

Well, that's a GOOD thing (none / 0) (#147)
by mcgrew on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 07:38:18 PM EST

One Michael Crawford article is worth twenty rmg articles.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

and... (none / 0) (#148)
by mcgrew on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 07:39:15 PM EST

My next submission (not yet written) was going to be "Indoor rocketry for Children" but I think instead I'll submit a meta "how to get a story posted on K5."

And on that note I hope I'm not one of the "K5 celebrities" you're talking about, because although most of my stuff gets voted up, when I just slap something together in ten minutes and submit it (like most of you do) it gets voted down. That is, if I'm lucky.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

K5 is not a blog (2.75 / 8) (#56)
by thelizman on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 08:17:31 AM EST

blog is getting over used, and this is one example. K5 is a 'collaborative media application' which lands halfway between individual blogs and news sites.

As for building popularity of this site, frequent updates aren't necessary. The vast majority of k5ers, kuro5hits, and kurotr011s get their nut off by seeing themselves in print and arguing endlessly and pointlessly. Others thrive on their status within K5 culture, partially because they have no outside life of which to speak. A few wallow in the newfound power they have gained either being a hitlerop on #kuro5hin, or because rusty gave them some greater power to edit and nix stories. People with less couth and intelligence flee this site for hulvers site or dailyKOS, while people with more couth and intelligence typically either begin lurking the wikis, or they unplug and spend more time relaxing and enriching themselves in meatspace.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
Yet another type (2.50 / 2) (#64)
by Nosf3ratu on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 09:20:47 AM EST

just really hate their jobs and enjoy being able to speak freely with the censorship monkeys @ slashdot.

Plus, dailyKOS isn't intelligent.


Woo!
[ Parent ]

I was being charitable... (2.50 / 2) (#80)
by thelizman on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 12:15:48 PM EST

Yet another type... enjoy being able to speak freely with the censorship monkeys @ slashdot.
There's that too.
Plus, dailyKOS isn't intelligent.
I was being charitable. It goes over better than saying "the reeking morons of this site, unable to compete with people who have more than two brain cells, flee to dailyKOS where they can feel more enlightened when surrounded by the utter wasteland of stupidity that site represents".
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Nod. (none / 0) (#196)
by Nosf3ratu on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 11:45:01 PM EST

Last point was your best, btw.

I'm finding myself spending less and less time online at home. I'm down to less than half an hour.

Books > Movies > Intarweb > TV.


Woo!
[ Parent ]

And nothing makes new users feel more welcome (2.50 / 8) (#63)
by Anonymous Howards End on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 09:15:53 AM EST

Then meta articles whinging that the site is dying.
--
CodeWright, you are one cowardly hypocritical motherfucker.
there are no new users. (2.00 / 3) (#68)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 09:35:22 AM EST

that's the problem. you're one of the people whose last account got banned.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
Wrong. (3.00 / 4) (#145)
by mcgrew on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 07:37:15 PM EST

They're lurking. I know, they send me emails about articles I've posted, often articles I've written over a year before I get the email. I just got one the other day about the "how to buy a cat" article that was well over a year old.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

I admit that I am Sparticus (none / 0) (#216)
by Anonymous Howards End on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 12:31:06 PM EST

Anything else is you projecting.
--
CodeWright, you are one cowardly hypocritical motherfucker.
[ Parent ]
I like it .. (3.00 / 4) (#65)
by gwooph on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 09:21:32 AM EST

but the idea of throwing steaming turds onto the front page kinda sucks.

Remember your W test?

If a W test could make it to the front page and break it for the lurkers, that might not be awesome.

I think we could aim for something more like a minus-vote only system (or plus only .. ) but this current "goes up to 30, goes down to 20, goes up to 80, goes down to 60 and gets dumped" shit has to stop.

Too many huge and informative comment threads are getting dumped, because the story they ride on is a peice of crap -- and hence, generates discussion.

You're really suggesting two ways of dealing with two problems in your article ..

  1. the front page is too static
  2. the voting method sucks
so, I'll answer them in turn ..

1) yep. I have my front page on "everything" just so I dont miss something I didnt get to see in voting, and then as soon as I realise it's the same crap as yesterday, I hit the "Diaries" button and get the hell out of the story section.

The idea of removing "sections" is a good idea (as long as you can still search by section only - ie: if I want to see only the "food" articles, I better have a way to do it).

It's a pretty google-esque way of dealing with sectioning, to just throw it all in a mess and have a good sort mechanism -- I think this is fine as long as the search tool comes pre-built with "by section" (from memory it does, but who uses search these days?).

2) I agree with the problem, and almost your solution. The voting system has proven to be too dicey -- I managed to game the queue with my first ever submission (different account back then) and hit FP as a nullo.

These days, not even rmg can be guaranteed a clean run to the posting-limit, as this story shows. Even with the good comments and discussion in here, this story is slowly, slowly, moving up -- but will it be enough?

I'd like to see the "+1" option removed to be honest, and anything that survives in the moderation queue for X days without hitting -100 (or whatever) gets posted. If you can only vote "no", it'll be up to people to stop things from getting posted, not the other way around -- and forcing things to stay in the queue for a week might increase the revisions / stop these stupid "let the pope die?" articles - when two days later he's back up like the jive bunny.

I know that in theory the "-1 only" idea might let complete shit float past unsuspecting eyes, but I doubt it -- people are obsessive about checking the submissions already, thats not going to go away.

"steaming turds" (none / 0) (#144)
by mcgrew on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 07:36:21 PM EST

"but the idea of throwing steaming turds onto the front page kinda sucks."

It suits trolls though, doesn't it? Remember, a true troll is a misanthrope whose mission in life is to make everyone else at least as miserable as he is. Only a troll would advocate throwing shit at something to change its smell. A good troll would produce very compelling reasons to throw shit on a Rembrandt painting.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Keep articles in sections (2.20 / 5) (#67)
by Yet Another Troll on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 09:34:31 AM EST

At the same time, putting all articles on the front page creates the impression of having more content. It is easy for someone just passing through not to notice the stories in the section box and since there's no date on them, there's no way to know how often Kuro5hin is actually updated. An outsider's impression would be that this place is a ghost town -- which is not so far from the truth, depending on how you look at it. As long as the site looks dead, it will stay dead.

The problem is then we get a lot of meta articles like this on the front page.  Do we really need to know that much that the site's broken?

There is a reason Slashdot and every other blog in existence puts all its content on the front page: It's stupid not to.

Slashdot doesn't do this.  There's a row of links down the side.  Click on the developers or Games one and see just how many do make the front page.

if that's the case, (none / 0) (#69)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 09:46:41 AM EST

the fact that i don't know about it shows what a bad idea it is to hide ones content like that.

of course, slashdot has so much that they keep their front page busy anyway. this site does not have that feature.

additionally, if certain people took suggestions like this one more promptly, it wouldn't be necessary to publicize them. as i make clear above, i think submitting things is a pain in the ass. i'd rather not have to screw around with it to get an audience with the management.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Also... (none / 0) (#143)
by mcgrew on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 07:35:19 PM EST

Slashdot doesn't do in-depth articles like you find on K5 very often. Usualy they are more in the form of a two paragraph MLP.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Bad idea (2.60 / 10) (#70)
by pHatidic on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 09:53:41 AM EST

There is a lot of shitty articles that just barely miss being posted as is with the post threshold of 80. There is nothing wrong with the way the site works, the problem is that people aren't writing enough articles. If everyone reading this comment writes one article in the next 6 weeks then the problem will be solved without having to whore out and lower quality.

Also, I don't see what the problem really is in the first place. It's not like it's in our mission statement to be #1 on technorati or whatever.

i don't write many articles here (1.50 / 2) (#71)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 10:02:43 AM EST

because i am not confident the queue will make a reasonable choice. now while you may think of me as an obnoxious troll, i'm actually quite literate with a broad range of interests, but because of the spoiled brat's approach to content selection around here, i would never write a serious article here unless i'm trying to address some sort of structural change that would improve that situation. i've heard this sentiment echoed by others as well. it's too much trouble for anyone with a grain of self esteem to screw around with the submission queue here. that's just all there is to it.

there is not, in fact, a lot of shitty articles that miss publication narrowly. in fact, there aren't a lot of articles at all. it's not a quality issue anyway. when you require a 75% majority, you're not doing quality assurance, you're running a concensus system. only mediocrity can exist in a concensus environment.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

i don't see the problem (2.50 / 2) (#73)
by pHatidic on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 11:01:17 AM EST

In the past when I've written a reasonably good article the queue has voted it up and when I've written bad articles the queue has voted them down. Also, where do you get the idea that consensus leads to mediocrity? That might be true if there were ten articles and only one could be posted FP, but this is an election it's just a non zero sum plebescite.

[ Parent ]
when everyone has more power to reject (none / 0) (#76)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 11:35:25 AM EST

than to affirm, it creates a need to compromise. when you need a concensus, the power to reject is so strong that the need for compromise is almost absolute.

but compromise does not lead to improvement. while some people may be more happy with a compromise, others are invariably less. it is better to have a product that many consider excellent than one that more people find acceptable but fewer find excellent.

the best in democracy is when the power of persuasion is used to convince the majority of the excellence of something being decided upon. concensus makes this impossible and that, in short, is what is wrong with concensus.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

that's a load of shit (2.50 / 2) (#78)
by pHatidic on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 12:09:51 PM EST

Give me one example of even one K5 article being "dumbed down for the masses" after not making it through the queue the first time.

Your ideas about consensus are right in politics and zero sum games because given multiple players where only the most popular can win, the successful one will be the one that is acceptable to the most people. This doesn't apply to K5 because there can be many excellent articles voted up all at once. For example if someone writes an article on an obscure programming language and another person writes one on culture, and we had to choose just one, then the obscure one would probably be voted down. The problem with your theory is that if I don't understand the obscure one I can just abstain from voting and vote the other one up, and then both can be on the front page at the same time.

[ Parent ]

wrong. (none / 0) (#81)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 12:17:28 PM EST

whenever you have a situation where you can vote either for or against something, you have a zero sum game. this is elementary.

the observations you ask for are impossible to find because of the lack of realtime records, the deletion of rejected stories, and the obvious fact that compromise can occur before the writer even starts typing. compromise keeps people from writing in the first place.

i realize these are subtle arguments that are difficult to prove, but they are pretty self-evident if you ask me.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Disagree (2.00 / 2) (#87)
by pHatidic on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 01:02:26 PM EST

A zero sum game is one in which one person wins and everyone else loses. In K5 as a whole everyone can win and no one has to lose.

[ Parent ]
if you don't know what you're talking about, (2.00 / 2) (#108)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 03:07:42 PM EST

don't post.

and don't argue with me about mathematics. i know what a fucking zero sum game is so find someone else to pester.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Bzzt (none / 0) (#161)
by pHatidic on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 08:04:56 PM EST

Try looking it up in a dictionary.

[ Parent ]
lol (none / 0) (#273)
by rusty on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 07:49:20 AM EST

yfi.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
shut up rusty. (none / 0) (#280)
by the ghost of rmg on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:37:06 AM EST

the comment is that voting yay or nay on something constitutes a zero sum game, not that a zero sum game is not what the troll i inadvertently responded to said.

i realize it's satisfying to think you've outsmarted rmg now and then, but in this case, it just ain't so. i didn't bother to respond to the other two losers because they've been stalking my comments trying to squeeze responses out of me. pretty pathetic, really.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

actually, wait. (none / 0) (#281)
by the ghost of rmg on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:46:02 AM EST

i thought he said something correct on the zero sum game. in fact he is still wrong.

a zero sum game is not one where only one player can win. in a game, by defintion, there are two outcomes: some party wins and the others lose or the game goes on indefinitely with no party winning.

what makes a game zero sum is the property that when one player gains an advantage, all other parties lose. i.e. there is some sort of utility function associated with each player whose sum over all players is conserved from turn to turn.

in fact, that's even what the fucking definition the troll in question pointed to says.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

damn it. (none / 0) (#282)
by the ghost of rmg on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:48:14 AM EST

"when one player gains an advantage, all other players lose an advantage" -- badly phrased, but that's the idea.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
Your straw man is on fire (none / 0) (#156)
by mcgrew on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 07:47:11 PM EST

No, it is only a zero sum game to the guy who gets voted down. It would only be a true zero sum game if there were a limitation on the number of posted stories, which there isn't.

As I know from your previous posts that unlike sellison you're no moron, WHBT. Nice job!

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

If you're looking for "excellence"... (1.00 / 2) (#146)
by mcgrew on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 07:37:48 PM EST

then you have to RAISE the threshold, not lower it. I've had a couple of my own articles posted that should have been voted down. Your problem is most of your articles are shit, that's wy we're voting against them.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

in the past seven months (2.00 / 2) (#163)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 08:18:05 PM EST

i have written two articles. both were accepted.

you fail it.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Personally (2.33 / 6) (#74)
by Sgt York on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 11:01:22 AM EST

I'd like to see the two suggestions combined. Instead of "+1FP" and "+1SP", use two thresholds.

One lower threshold would send the story to the SP, and a higher threshold would send it to FP. If a story reaches 60%, or maintains a 50%+1 for a certain period of time (pick one), it goes to SP. After it has been posted to SP, it remains in the voting queue for 24h. During this time, people can still vote on the story. If it reaches the current 80% (or higher) threshold within the timeframe, it gets shot to FP. If not, it stays on SP.

You'd probably have to set up some mechanism for people that voted in phase one to let their voices be heard in phase 2, though. Maybe a vote revocation option that becomes available during phase 2.

This may be just too difficult, though. IANAP, so I have no idea how hard this would be to implement from a technical standpoint.

At the very least, we need a "dead story" section. Treat them more like hidden comments. If you're afraid of preserving the total crap, set a threashold. If a story survives in positive territory for a certain period of time, or just gets an absolute number of positive votes, keep it in a "dead story" section. If for no other reason than to preserve the context of the comments. I'm sure everyone has been frustrated by this before.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.

Let me sum up: (1.83 / 6) (#77)
by Mr.Surly on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 11:50:23 AM EST

Quantity > Quality

Yes (3.00 / 2) (#79)
by pHatidic on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 12:13:24 PM EST

If K5 turns into just another blog then the people who like K5 the way it is will just create another K5. Thus it makes more sense for the people who aren't happy with K5 to find somewhere else to go. Remember, it isn't against the law to read webpages other than this one. Even if there is only one or two articles posted a week there are still millions of other shitty blogs out there to read.

[ Parent ]
people who read k5 for 'quality' are braindead. (1.00 / 3) (#83)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 12:21:07 PM EST

k5 is not better than any other popular blog i can think of. your entire argument is a straw man.

additionally, the argument is not

quantity > quality

it is that

quantity => quality.

it's really quite straightforward.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Reason (none / 1) (#89)
by pHatidic on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 01:04:32 PM EST

If K5 has less good articles than other blogs then it's because there are less people writing good articles on K5, not because the voting process suppresses good articles.

[ Parent ]
yeah, no shit. (none / 1) (#109)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 03:08:52 PM EST

the argument here is that there is a reason that fewer people are writing and that you can allieviate the entire situation quite easily.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
No (none / 0) (#121)
by pHatidic on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 04:09:35 PM EST

If your story is so bad that you can't even get 100 K5'ers to like it, then what makes you think that hundreds of thousands of people from around the web will come here and love it? I practically failed my college writing seminar and I have no problem getting articles posted. If your story is so poorly written or uninteresting that you can't even get it voted up then it belongs on geocities or xanga, not K5.

[ Parent ]
i believe i told you to go pester someone else. (none / 1) (#122)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 04:28:44 PM EST




rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
you missed the point (3.00 / 2) (#84)
by CAIMLAS on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 12:21:39 PM EST

You missed his point.

Right now, the effect of the threshhold is not to increase the quality of content. It requires such a large majority that it has a levelling effect. Authors are given no quarter to opine or present something unusual or out of the ordinary.

In other words, k5 is a groupthink tank, and anything that differs even slightly from the most popular thoughts is chewed up and shat out almost instantly from the vote queue. Not only does this not promote discussion - which is what K5 is about, right? - but it promotes sickly intellectual mastabatation and self-congratulatory "me too" posts.

If you're liberal, there's nothing better for you than an honest discussion on conservative matters. If you're conservative, the same is true for issues of liberal discussion. If you're not thinking critically about opposing points, you're not growing. And then what good are you?

Not only that, but there's a lot of interesting yet fringe topics which get voted off or simply barely miss the threshold - often with lengthy discussions already. What's the point in that?

If you don't like discussion, why don't you go elsewhere? Seems slashdot might be a better place for you.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

As long as ... (none / 0) (#90)
by Mr.Surly on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 01:08:10 PM EST

... the K5 story approval mechanism remains a popularity vote, rather than "This should be posted because of the amount of discussion," you will continue to have articles of questionable quality voted up, while those that might inspire thought and discussion will get voted down.

There are some people who will vote up an article that they disagree with simply because of the possible debate that will ensue.  Most people are idiots, though.

[ Parent ]

Uhh.. (none / 0) (#312)
by Armada on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:43:24 PM EST

I gotta ask about your .sig

I'm confused with it. All liberals, even classical liberals or neo-liberals agree to free speech. At least, in the "negative rights" aspects of it. Where and why did that .sig come about?

[ Parent ]

re: my sig (none / 1) (#395)
by CAIMLAS on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 02:38:16 PM EST

My sig came about for multiple reasons:

In America:

  • Liberals oppose the First Amendment when it is concerning the religious views of those they disagree with, yet support it when it's for something that's debasing to humans and often offensive. For instance, the freedom for a high school student to pray at lunch has essentially been outlawed. Somehow, it's OK to have people parading down the street half naked, depicting beastiality, ass sex, and other such deprivations, but having a Christmas display with a manger and baby Jesus is not.
  • PC bullshit, including affirmative action. It has completely removed even the premise of "equal treatment" despite creed or race. While sometimes well intentioned, it usually results in more racial, religious, etc. profiling than a merit-based system.
  • It is seen as perfectly logical by liberals to defend the 1st Amendment yet ignore the 2nd Amendment as equally valid. They relegate to a part of history, as something antiquated despite not having a proper understanding of its necessity for the 1st Amendment. Saying the 2nd Amendment is antiquated and not applicable (due to more advanced firearms) is like saying that the 1st Amendment is antiquated because we've got the Internet. (I could go on all day on this topic, so I'll stop.)

--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

Ahh ok.. (none / 0) (#404)
by Armada on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 09:40:47 PM EST

Not in the "classical liberal" sense though. Those guys, like me, are now what you could consider Libertarians, or "South Park Conservatives".

I was just confused because I've read Ludwig von Mises's "Liberalism" which is actually a definition of the turn-of-the-century liberal who did not buy into the FDR bullshit of "creating programs" for the fuck of it.

[ Parent ]

some thought experiments for you. (2.00 / 2) (#85)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 12:26:40 PM EST

take four blogs: atrios, slashdot, andrewsullivan, and kuro5hin.

read a week's worth of frontpage articles for each. did you learn more from atrios, slashdot, andrewsullivan, or kuro5hin?

everyone reading knows that the answer is not going to be kuro5hin. why is that a good situation?

and here's another: find the best frontpage kuro5hin article in a given week. now compare it to the articles on instapundit, the daily kos, and newsforge. for each of those sites, how many of the articles are better than the best kuro5hin article? you can be pretty sure the answer is going to be more than one for each.

in short, your entire theory is bullshit.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Not MY theory (nt) (none / 0) (#88)
by Mr.Surly on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 01:03:52 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Lame (3.00 / 4) (#92)
by pHatidic on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 01:13:18 PM EST

take four blogs: atrios, slashdot, andrewsullivan, and kuro5hin.

You are comparing Apples to Oranges. Of these four blogs, which have you learned the most from per minute reading. Of course if you flood the front page with bad articles you will probably still learn more, but if I wanted that then I could go to the places you named. If K5 just becomes another Slashdot, why not just read slashdot? Your theory is akin to the Democrats trying to nominate a watered down republican for president, the problem is if that's what you want then why not just vote for the real thing? And the last time I checked John Kerry is not our president.

[ Parent ]

Lets examine some of the underlying premises (2.20 / 5) (#91)
by Pelorat on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 01:12:34 PM EST

When did Kuro5hin become a weblog (which I thought was the product of a single author), and why is it expected to have a daily output similar to any other posted-article-with-commentary site, weblog or not?

In certain circles (none / 1) (#98)
by aphrael on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 01:52:32 PM EST

'weblog' means 'writing posted on the web'.

[ Parent ]
even a static site? (none / 0) (#101)
by janra on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 02:04:13 PM EST

I have lots of writing posted on my homepage. It's all static pages, no reverse-chronological-order, automated-updating, or anything. I have to (gasp!) change the files by hand if I want something new to appear, and I work it into the navigation structure I have built instead of just putting it at the top of the page regardless of topic or quality.

Would those certain circles call my site a weblog?
--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]

Probably. But then (none / 0) (#104)
by Pelorat on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 02:16:28 PM EST

These certain circles also tend to be the same ones that think everyone should be updated 5 times a day on the status of their belly-button lint.

[ Parent ]
You make a rather contraversial claim (1.60 / 5) (#93)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 01:17:09 PM EST

that new users are actually more interesting than old users with new accounts.  Genuine new users are far too synchophantic.  Only old users know how to contribute interesting content.

Furthermore, new users just get driven away by troll hunters.  If you say you're a software developer or a student, you're a troll because you're just trying to pretend to be a typical user.  If you claim to be nun, you're a troll because we know that there are no real nuns who read this site.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour

and if you claim to be big and sexy? (nt) (3.00 / 2) (#103)
by circletimessquare on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 02:14:31 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Then you tell the truth (none / 1) (#188)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 11:13:37 PM EST

Actually, the name was orginally a self-effacing reference to my weight problem.  But now I've lost a great deal of fat by weight training, so it is now an arrogant declaration of my fantastic muscularity.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
Reflections (2.81 / 16) (#97)
by aphrael on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 01:52:04 PM EST

There is simply not enough front page content to attract the interest of potential new users.

I dispute this. :) There's a steady influx of new users - all of the admins get daily emails telling us what the new accounts are. Besides which ... when kuro5hin started, it had less content than it does now, and it took off. That suggests that lack of, or presence of, content is not the only variable worth considering.

It is pretty widely recognized that fewer people read the stories only voted to section than the ones on the front page. As such, there is less discussion. This is a pretty clear contravention of the stated purposes of the site.

Why do you assume that people would read them if they were on the front page? You argue, every bit as reasonably, that people read stories on the front page and not in section because they think the presence of the article on the front page is indicative of higher quality. Putting everything on the front page results in people no longer being able to make that distinction, and could very easily result in lower reading levels if it brings about a perception of decline in quality.

Besides which, anyone who wants this effect for themselves can just click on 'everything'. That's what I do when I think i've missed things in the queue.

Also, it has been true *for years* that the majority of conversation takes place in the queue, not once the article has posted.

sometimes having to act as a rapid response unit to avoid the dreaded ten -1s it takes to kill the article

I believe, sir, that that threshold is *twenty* -1s without any balancing +1s. :)

That said, notching the post threshold down by 10 or so isn't a bad idea; it's a reasonable reaction to the size of the current user population.

While there are probably other, even better, ways to revitalize this site, none of them are likely to happen for the simple reason that they would require significant changes to the code that runs this site or the attitudes of those who control it.

Propose them. We'll talk about them. :)

new users. (2.00 / 2) (#115)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 03:45:29 PM EST

between the time that i registered the rmg account in may of 2003 and that september, about 7000 accounts were registered. between july when new user registration reopened and now, less than 4000 new accounts were registered. thus, in four months two years ago nearly twice as many accounts were registered as in the past seven months here. i don't think it is unreasonable to say that indicates a significant decline in interest from the outside.

it is self-evident that people would read stories in a place where they are more easily visible rather than one where they are less. there is no room for reasonable dispute on that point. additionally, the assertion made by the system that section stories are in fact worse in some absolute measure of quality than ones on the front page is hardly infallible. sometimes the sorting job done is correct, sometimes it isn't. even so, there is no way for a new user to know a priori what the section versus front page distinction is about anyway.

i wouldn't address your nonsense about clicking the "everything" link except that i fear that rusty will actually think it's a good point. what is the url of the front page? "www.kuro5hin.org." what is the url of the everything page? i don't even know. "www.kuro5hin.org/section/everything," i would guess. you have to follow a link to get to it. and why the hell would someone just passing through look at it anyway?

on killing articles, i explained what i meant very clearly.

the problem here is not a mere adjustment in accord with the size of the userbase. the problem is philosophical. it is as i said above. the requirement of a very large majority has a levelling effect and discourages contribution. and the counterargument is the spoiled brat response: "i want really super high quality material and the best way to do that is to require a really huge majority and reject most of the people who offer to write!" "i don't want to have sift through articles that are only good! i want only the best of the best!" -- of course, these are the same people who are willing to sift through the queue and vote on articles that on average, we hope, are worse than those that are accepted, but i suppose we can leave that point aside.

historically, it has been a straight waste of my time to try to suggest improvements because there is an entrenched belief amongst admins that they absolutely know what's best and that the system works perfectly. though, as a matter of fact, most of my suggestions are eventually taken, it either takes a lot of effort or time to get the point across, or it takes a catastrophic event to convince rusty that i was right. my willingness to point out the obvious comes only in spurts.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

your timing is off (none / 1) (#130)
by aphrael on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 05:23:38 PM EST

thus, in four months two years ago nearly twice as many accounts were registered as in the past seven months here. i don't think it is unreasonable to say that indicates a significant decline in interest from the outside.

Certainly not. What is unreasonable, though, is your assertion that this is either (a) a recent, or (b) a continuing phenomenon. New account creation has held more or less since new account creation was re-enabled last summer - so the decline in interest occurred prior to that, and there does not appear to be continuing decline now. At least, new account creation does not provide any evidence of it.

it is self-evident that people would read stories in a place where they are more easily visible rather than one where they are less. there is no room for reasonable dispute on that point.

Perhaps. What is not self-evident is that people will continue looking in that place if it is filled with things they don't want to see. Who reads unmoderated USENET groups anymore? :)

We have two conflicting theses here. Your thesis is that putting everything on the front page will ensure that more stories get read because they'll be more visible. My thesis is that putting everything on the front page will result in less stories getting read because the inreased visibility of things people don't want to see will cause them to stop looking. There doesn't really seem to be a way for either of us to prove the other wrong by argument. :)

You may be tempted into arguing that people *do* want to see what's in the section pages, but I'll note that this is difficult to sustain, as (a) the fact that they're in section and not on the front page implies that not enough people thought highly enough of it to send it to the front page, and (b) your argument depends on people not reading things in sections - but if they wanted to read things in sections, they would be reading them. :)

the problem is philosophical

Aha! That's the meat of the dinner, as the saying goes. You disagree philosophically with the notion of sections. I would argue that abolishing sections - which is, in effect, what you are requesting - would turn kuro5hin into something quite different; that it would, in its own way, be as big a change to the site as adding diaries or abolishing trusted user status was. And that it would be inconsistent with the philosophy under which the site has operated from the beginning. A form of suicide, if you will - which, even if it caused kuro5hin to rise again like a pheonix from its ashes, would give birth not to the same bird but to an entirely new one. there is an entrenched belief amongst admins that they absolutely know what's best and that the system works perfectly

hah. no system ever designed by humans has worked perfectly; why should kuro5hin be any different?

[ Parent ]

you would still have a 60% majority (3.00 / 2) (#132)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 05:41:24 PM EST

at a threshhold of 40. the site would never look like usenet at that rate. come on.

i don't disagree with sections, i disagree with using them to conceal content. my philosophical disagreement with rusty and i suppose you is about your notion of quality and how one best achieves it. i believe that giving users a looser leash when it comes to articles (which are still voted upon and still require a fairly large majority) will lead to more risk taking and more creativity. that, in my opinion, is the ultimate good toward which this site should strive, not the cult of mediocrity the concensus system of the 75% majority voting system embodies.

to your last remark -- good maintainers look for improvements. implying it is too late to change via your bizarre suicide analogy does not get you out of that.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

But (none / 1) (#255)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 10:12:30 PM EST

Maybe unlogged in users should see the everything page. New users will be more interested in many articles than the conversations.  By your own admission, the conversation is usually over by the time the story posts.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
Voting Threshold (2.14 / 7) (#105)
by pHatidic on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 02:22:50 PM EST

The voting threshold should not be raised or lowered based on the number of people reading the site, it should be raised or lowered based on the number of people voting. Even though there haven't been many stories voted up to the front page recently there are just as many voters now as ever. Stories frequently reach 300 votes, it's just that most of the stories suck. If there were great stories dying in the queue because there just weren't enough voters then that would be one thing, but that really isn't the case. Also, lowering the voting threshold just encourages people to use dupe accounts and vote for their own stories, because dupe accounts have more effect when the threshold is lower.

Don't take this as a personal attack, but this is the type of story I think should not be posted on the front page. I don't object to a discussion of the issues, but what you have written isn't a discussion, it is just punditry for your opinion. Every decision is involves trade offs, and this article fails to take that into account at all. You should consider both the good and the bad that would come from taking your suggestions into account.

you're wrong. (2.60 / 5) (#111)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 03:23:55 PM EST

it is trivially easy to go back a year or two years and see how the absolute number of voters has decreased. again, if you don't know what you're talking about, don't post.

the dupe account issue has been talked about over and over again. as a troll, i know when such phenomena occur. i have seen it succeed in getting a story to the front page only twice. it is difficult to set up so many accounts and it is difficult to actually do the voting. it doesn't happen often as a result.

and yes i know you could script it, but the types who go for this kind of thing are remarkably inept.

watching stories die in the queue is only part of the story. the real issue is stories that are never written because either the author has had a story unreasonably rejected in the past or because he has seen how many articles get rejected and doesn't want to fuck around with it.

if a story gets three hundred votes -- which is unusual around here these days -- about fifty votes will be abstentions. if it is at 80 when it posts, that's a sixty-six percent majority. you could ratify a constitutional amendment with that margin. it's too much.

the majority of stories get 200 or fewer non-abstaining votes. at that rate, the threshold is a 70% majority when that quorum is reached. it's insanity. no amount of arguing about "quality" can justify requiring a 70% majority. in a room of ten people, you can't get that kind of majority on whether or not to order pizza.

this is not merely opinion. it is an observation of the obvious. the objections have uniformly consisted of nonsense about "quality" and how maybe this site just isn't meant to be popular. when you have a site that requires a seventy percent majority to post a story and you only post twice a week, it is self-evident that something is wrong. when you require a seventy percent majority, it is obvious that a huge range of opinion and topics is immediately thrown out. articles are not judged solely or even primarily on "quality."


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Slashdot (2.66 / 3) (#107)
by chacho on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 02:48:17 PM EST

Slashdot doesn't post all content on the front page. It has section pages as well.

Slashdot has a lot more content! (nt) (none / 0) (#110)
by Coryoth on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 03:13:48 PM EST



[ Parent ]
and in aggregate (2.00 / 2) (#112)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 03:26:04 PM EST

better content on a wider variety of topics.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
But a worse S:N ratio [nt] (none / 0) (#114)
by Pelorat on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 03:40:09 PM EST

 

[ Parent ]
no, (none / 1) (#116)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 03:47:14 PM EST

the site's signal to noise ratio is horrible. it's amazing that people continue to compare k5 to slashdot favorably.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
What is this, the (2.50 / 2) (#118)
by Pelorat on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 03:54:59 PM EST

Gainsayer Sketch?

[ Parent ]
Um. No. (2.57 / 7) (#113)
by ubernostrum on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 03:35:56 PM EST

Since this posted, against all expectations, I might as well pause to refute the claims the article makes:

More content is always better, no matter what that content is: this is an assumption which is never clearly articulated, but which underlies the entire article. Refutation: There are weblogs that get ten posts a day and still have low readership and low popularity, because those ten posts a day all blow chunks. Any discussion of more content must actually be a discussion of "more quality content".

People don't read section pages: I'd be willing to venture that two types of people are responsible for most of the page views k5 gets. One group is made up of users who see the stories in the queue and never bother with them again no matter where they end up, and the other group is made up of people who aren't k5 members and get linked directly to a story by someone else. Thus the number of people who actually browse k5 via the front or section pages is negigible, and for those people I'd imagine it would be better to put our collective best foot forward by keeping only top-quality content FP.

Post threshold should be lowered dramatically: This relies, again, on the assumption that more always equals better. Lowering the post threshold in this way would create a new problem: crap stories that get voted up before anybody knows they're there. Coming soon to k5's front page: fifty stories titled "lol what". Also, look at the voting on stories currently on the front and section pages, then tell me again that autopost makes the decision "more often than not".




--
You cooin' with my bird?
Um. Shut up. (1.00 / 9) (#117)
by Stinky Bottoms on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 03:49:08 PM EST

You're such a pompous ass I just wanted to say that.

[ Parent ]
so is the author (none / 1) (#119)
by Harvey Anderson on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 04:01:45 PM EST

n/t

[ Parent ]
Ouch. (none / 1) (#127)
by ubernostrum on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 04:57:27 PM EST

This is me hurting at your stinging riposte. No, really, you've cut me to the bone.




--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]
wrong. (1.75 / 4) (#120)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 04:04:11 PM EST

the more content issue is not assumed. it is predicated on the unique conditions of this site and how it creates content. the argument is that quantity and quality are tightly related under certain conditions that exist here. your "refutation" is an idiotic straw man, which, while illustrative of kuro5hin's deeper problems, has little discursive value.

people don't read section pages. i know this from observation of my comments. trolls posted to front page articles get significantly more response than ones in the section pages. when you have skillz like mine, responses are directly proportional to the number of readers. QED.

on the off chance that a story entitled "lol what" got posted, it would be a simple matter for rusty to remove it and delete and ip ban all the accounts that voted for it. i mean christ, how fuckin' stupid do you have to be to make such a bizarre objection? besides, fourty dupe accounts is a very significant number. it would not be easy to get that many. this sort of abuse just doesn't happen, despite all the nail biting from people like yourself.

autopost makes the decision on section articles more often than not.

in short, you lose.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Hmm (none / 0) (#123)
by pHatidic on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 04:39:24 PM EST

trolls posted to front page articles get significantly more response than ones in the section pages.

Yeah I guess this article proves that.

[ Parent ]

Sure, why not. (none / 0) (#128)
by ubernostrum on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 05:05:17 PM EST

it is predicated on the unique conditions of this site and how it creates content. the argument is that quantity and quality are tightly related under certain conditions that exist here.

No, you've assumed blindly that more stories posted would be better, regardless of the quality. The proof of this is in the suggestion that we relax tha controls on the quality of stories posted in order to get more quantity.

people don't read section pages.

Nope. They don't rear the front page either. I don't read the front page. I read what's in the queue and every so often I click through to a story from my aggregator.

this sort of abuse just doesn't happen, despite all the nail biting from people like yourself.

This got voted up with a post threshold of 80, when pretty much every single comment disagrees with the article. If it's this easy at 80, why should we lower the threshold?

autopost makes the decision on section articles more often than not.

I await the statistics to back this up; some kindly admin want to query section stories since autopost was set up and see what percentage of them had an autopost decision made?




--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]
i don't care what you read. (2.00 / 3) (#129)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 05:13:32 PM EST

i've been reading this site and many other blogs for years. i just set up an rss aggregator two days ago. less than one in ten readers here uses those damn things so don't float that as a relevant piece of information, you bloody idiot.

if you read the fucking article, you'd see that my argument is that as you increase the percentage of the vote necessary, you stop increasing quality and start imposing individual fickleness of users. the question is where do you stop? i think a 60% majority is plenty. right now, it's around 75%. are you so stupid that you think increasing it to 80% or 90% will actually make the site better? why not make it 100%? then only the very, very best articles will make and writers will really have to work hard to give us their best!

only a few individual people posted. of those, only a couple who commented voted for it. what's worse is that you voted against it yourself, which makes the entire argument completely dishonest because you know that perfectly well.

it would be great if these statistics were readily available, but a quick look at the current section articles confirms that it is as i say.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

But... (none / 0) (#166)
by D Jade on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 08:51:17 PM EST

No, you've assumed blindly that more stories posted would be better, regardless of the quality. The proof of this is in the suggestion that we relax tha controls on the quality of stories posted in order to get more quantity.

How is this any different from the dominant assumption that more articles means less quality. Who is to say either side is correct? The reality is that a lot of stories don't make it because of a lack of quality but because they have a viewpoint that is contrary to many users. This doens't mean that they're crap articles. The result is that we have less articles of a lesser quality. This is a fact... There's a crapflood of articles that get voted up purely because readers agree with the author's point of view. However, sharing their opinion does not make articles good.

This got voted up with a post threshold of 80, when pretty much every single comment disagrees with the article. If it's this easy at 80, why should we lower the threshold?

Yes this is true. It's one of the few good quality articles that did get voted up. Why did it get voted up? Because it's generated interesting discussion. This is why stories should be voted up. The best part of K5 is not the articles themselves but the comments below. However, it is so rare these days that articles do get rated up for their discussion value. The fact is some of the most discussed articles are those that get voted down and the only reason they get voted down is because readers disagree. If you feel strongly enough to share your point of view, don't rate the article down.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

Well (none / 0) (#174)
by pHatidic on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 10:16:37 PM EST

The reality is that a lot of stories don't make it because of a lack of quality but because they have a viewpoint that is contrary to many users.

I have been reading K5 for four or so years now and I don't ever remember seeing this happen. It is a perceived problem that people complain about a lot, but can you point to any examples?

There's a crapflood of articles that get voted up purely because readers agree with the author's point of view.

This has been a problem in the past but it has gotten better recently now that political season is over.

[ Parent ]

and good (none / 0) (#184)
by D Jade on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 11:02:23 PM EST

I have been reading K5 for four or so years now and I don't ever remember seeing this happen. It is a perceived problem that people complain about a lot, but can you point to any examples?

HA! Of course I can't point to examples. When stories get voted out of the queue they get deleted. So naturally, you will win this argument based on evidence. How can I prove that a story got voted down because of this when the story and its comments are not around to find? Can you answer me that?

This has been a problem in the past but it has gotten better recently now that political season is over.

Completely agree with you bro and thank the lord for that! :P

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

not deleted (none / 0) (#201)
by janra on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 02:27:25 AM EST

Not even when they're archived - Scoop archives stories regardless of displaystatus (the flag that determines where the story should be displayed: front page, section page, in either queue, or hidden). Rather silly of it to preserve stories that were voted down, but whatever. Actually deleting a story and all its comments takes specific admin intervention.

Only admins and the story's author can see hidden stories, so you are partly correct. You can't point to examples, but a motivated admin could (if you can find such a creature).
--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]

True (none / 0) (#241)
by D Jade on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 06:10:09 PM EST

I know the comments are still there so obviously the story is too. However, I doubt we'd be able to find ourselves a motivated admin on this site. Apparently that's part of the problem, I think. I don't really know what the problem is except that crapfloods get through more often than good non-politics/nerd articles.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
dumped articles (none / 0) (#247)
by janra on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 06:55:52 PM EST

I agree that articles get through that I don't think should have, but it's pretty rare that dumped articles are actually good. Maybe it's a matter of different opinions regarding what is "good".
--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]
you don't get it. (none / 1) (#249)
by the ghost of rmg on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 07:55:17 PM EST

people don't post articles because they've seen how the queue works.

and you're wrong. decent articles get rejected all the time. certainly, articles no worse than those on the front page right now get rejected frequently. you simply don't know what you're talking about.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

hah. (none / 1) (#260)
by aphrael on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:10:44 AM EST

i'm fairly certain that janra sees every article that stays in the queue for more than a couple of hours.

[ Parent ]
he've seen how often janra's online. (none / 0) (#261)
by the ghost of rmg on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:56:00 AM EST




rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
janra is almost always online. <nt> (none / 0) (#292)
by aphrael on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 01:15:26 PM EST



[ Parent ]
i know. (none / 0) (#296)
by the ghost of rmg on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 01:49:30 PM EST

what i meant is: how can we take the word of a loser like that?


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
who is likely to know more (none / 0) (#302)
by aphrael on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 02:13:57 PM EST

about the site - the person who is always on, or the person who never is? :)

[ Parent ]
think about the question.... /nt (none / 0) (#305)
by Battle Troll on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 02:44:33 PM EST


--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
What RMG said (none / 0) (#253)
by D Jade on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 09:59:15 PM EST

Either you don't actively vote, or you define a good article based upon your own opinions on the topic. Too often, people vote something down because they disagree with the article's point of view. Even worse, people vote something down because they're not interested in the topic of the article. If you're not interested enough to read an article, don't vote on it, simple.

Like some of the "Guides to Routing" as an example. I cannot think of anything worse than reading an article on routing. I'm sorry, it's booooring. I would rather beat my head on a brick wall than read about routing. Now, your typical modern day K5 user would vote articles down if they felt like this about the topic. This is wrong. If this is how you feel about a topic, abstain from voting. That's why it's there.

What is so hard to understand about this concept?

Voting is not about agreeing with the author. It is about making a judgement on the quality of the article. Is it well written and informative? Does it have good references for further reading? Is it well laid out? Et Cetera...

One question that should not be asked when deciding on your vote is Do I agree with the author? But unfortunately, this seems to be the predominant factor when offering +/-1 votes these days. This is a really immature way to vote and it seriously undermines the intelligence which used to be found in this community.

It kind of makes me sad because I've learnt a lot from users of this site over the years. I've learnt how to compose an argument and research my points. I've had help with my school work when I was studying and answers to problems I've encountered in my work. I've borrowed videos of tv shows that I've missed and found many interesting and entertaining websites to look at when I'm bored. I've discovered so many different cultures, arts and histories through the people on this site.

Nowadays, I've encountered hostile, bigotted Americans who are completely racist and xenophobic. I've encountered bullies who are so stupid that you can't even place an argument without being called childish names. I've seen countless links to goatse and tubgirl which is sooooo 4 years ago. I've read the abuse from right wingers posted in left-leaning articles, I've watched left wingers get lashed for speaking out in right-leaning articles. I've seen nastiness and behaviour that I'd never encounter in the real world.

See and I don't think Americans are racist, nor do I think that K5 users are, as a whole, stupid. However, a large amount of the active users of this site seem to be leaning towards the types described in the paragraph above.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

I do vote on quality (none / 0) (#258)
by janra on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 02:42:19 AM EST

You're making quite a few assumptions about me in your first sentence there.

My reference to "good" articles was in fact based on quality. Half-baked ideas presented by a self-described troll about things that have been thought through extensively by people with more invested in the site than how many bites they can get does not qualify as "good" in my books.
--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]

piss off. (1.00 / 5) (#262)
by the ghost of rmg on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 04:07:19 AM EST

you took what was obviously meant in a generic sense personally and used it to construct a specious argument. it doesn't make a damn bit of difference what you do personally. what is important is the aggregate behavior of the voters. even a child could discern what the parent is getting at, yet you pretend not to.

you're pathetic. you throw around troll accusations, yet you can't put together a substantive criticism. you argue from your personal investment in the site, as if that were a qualification. the fact that you waste so much of your time on a perl script doesn't say anything about your ability to design a working system. in fact, given the particular perl script we're talking about, it says quite the opposite.

it's childish to appeal to your belief in your own neutrality anyway, but of course what can we expect from someone who evidently finds absolutely no fault in the idea of requiring a seventy percent majority to pass the queue? or who thinks it's a good idea to have only two articles a week?


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

arguing with rmg? (none / 0) (#124)
by janra on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 04:40:51 PM EST

What a useless endeavour. He's made it quite clear in his comments already that he has no interest in anybody contradicting his statements.

Too bad this article was voted up. Now the admins will be expected to reason with rmg (ha!)
--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]

I don't get it (none / 0) (#125)
by pHatidic on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 04:44:15 PM EST

How was this article voted up when every single comment disagrees with the article? There is something seriously wrong here.

[ Parent ]
sometimes... (3.00 / 2) (#137)
by kpaul on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 06:30:42 PM EST

k5 is more about the discussion ;)


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

why should i be moved (2.00 / 2) (#126)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 04:57:05 PM EST

by reasoning that is predicated on a concept of quality that no one has put in any concrete terms and that no one has demonstrated will be sacrificed to a real degree by these proposals?

why should i be moved by arguments relying on a moralistic connotation of the words "popular" and "more" so as to set up some situation in which it is better not to make these changes because it might make the site have "more" content and become -gasp- "more" "popular?

why should i be moved by the claim that everything is fine when the trend has been toward losing readers for the past two years? why should i be interested in the opinion of someone who thinks that drifting into irrelevance is just part of waht makes kuro5hin have so much charm?

i am very reasonable as those who can and have had reasonable arguments with me can attest, but i don't go in for bullshit. i don't have a lot of patience for idiotic arguments like the ones i've listed above.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

heh. (none / 1) (#136)
by kpaul on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 06:22:50 PM EST

i voted on it because of discussion potential, not necessarily because of rmg's train of thought...


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Mainstream Media. (2.16 / 6) (#131)
by razumiking on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 05:32:56 PM EST

I don't know about this whole idea of making K5 more popular. I mean, look at how bad the mainstream media is. They're popular. That's what mainstream means, after all.

If K5 gets more popular, that will just make it more like the mainstream media. It will get worse, not better!

A lot of people have said that the article just says quantity is more important than quality. It's just corporate consumerism applied to blogging. More is always worse, not the other way around!

Think about a hockey team. Some teams make a lot of shots but miss most of them. Other teams practice their aim and make sure they have the best players so the score on almost everyshot. Which ones win? The teams with good aim, obviously!

If you ask me, what make K5 great is that I never have to sift through crappy articles like on Juan Cole's blog. I just load up the front page and there it all is! I don't mind the wait. I just come back once every couple months and there it all is. It's perfect. I just set up my calendar program to remind me every six weeks and I'm all set!

Anyway, I think the fact that other sites never mention us and no one I know in real life has ever heard of Kuro5hin is what makes it so cool. It's like an indie band. I would hate to see my favorite indie band sell out by becoming popular. I guess that's how I feel about K5 too.

It's too bad there's always a meta article mixed in with the twelve other articles I read once every other month, but I guess I don't mind that much. It certainly doesn't stop me from commenting. LOL!

Well everyone, keep up the good work. See you in April.

But the problem is (3.00 / 2) (#133)
by D Jade on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 05:45:27 PM EST

A lot of good articles don't even make it on to the site because of a handful of -1 votes. The biggest issue I have with K5 articles is that any article that presents a different point-of-view to popular opinion doesn't even make it onto the site.

There's also a fiction section on this site and pretty much every time a fiction piece is in the queue it gets voted down. Not because it's a shit story but because it's fiction and a lot of users don't like fiction. Read the comments in fiction articles and many comments are "-1 fiction". I'm sorry, that's no reasone to vote a story down.

This is the problem though because you get people voting down articles without reading them. I'll vote an article up after just glancing through it, but I'll never give a -1 without attempting to read the whole article.

If people took voting seriously and gave unbiassed ratings based on the quality of the article, you would get to read a lot more good articles every six weeks you come onto the site.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

while i agree with you to a certain extent, (none / 0) (#135)
by kpaul on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 06:19:06 PM EST

i *did* have an article on Christian Eschatology make it to the k5 FP. ;)

i do think 'bad voters' are a problem, though...


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Agreed! (none / 1) (#168)
by D Jade on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 08:57:49 PM EST

I reckon any article is good if it's well written. I think the biggest problem is bad voters, agree completely. I think if you don't agree with an article so therefore decide not to read it, either abstain from voting or post it to section. Don't vote it down because you disagree... that's stupid.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
I agree (3.00 / 3) (#138)
by pHatidic on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 06:44:02 PM EST

The order of suck is as follows:

Hollywood movies suck more than broadcast TV
Broadcast TV sucks more than Cable
Cable sucks more than radio
Radio sucks more magazines
Magazines suck more than newspaper
Newspaper sucks more than the web

The trend is that the more something costs to distribute, the more it sucks. This is because it has to appeal to the most people. At K5 we have a chance to make something that is very high quality because it costs very little to distribute. Let's not whore ourselves out until we are forced to by economics, like the other mediums have unfortately had to do. The web is the last great stronghold of freedom, would you really trade all that that it represents for fifteen minutes of fame?

[ Parent ]

On more and popularity (2.33 / 3) (#134)
by D Jade on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 05:50:15 PM EST

If more articles are on the site and it becomes more popular. Doesn't it stand to reason that more people will contribute different articles? Is that really a bad thing? I mean, of late, two major topics are the US Gov and ah... The US gov.

Surely more users means there might be some articles that don't suck...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive

My thoughts (3.00 / 6) (#139)
by localroger on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 07:02:26 PM EST

The voting system is far from perfect, but so far it's better than most of the other systems out there. We've seen a lot of proposals for jiggering it; I've even made some of them. The problem is you always have a tension between quality and quantity, and no matter how the system is designed the problem of people who will try to game it.

My last article submission was rejected, and rightly so; it was a quick knock-off job that I didn't think about too hard, and after it went down in flames I thought of a much better way to approach the subject. In that case the queue worked.

But it almost didn't work. Because of the number of auto-minus-one votors there are people who counter them by auto-plusing things by writers they know.

Sometimes when I post something that isn't up to "localroger standards" people complain that I'm abusing their trust. I suppose it looks that way, but I'd rather have the freedom to throw whatever I want at the queue without worrying that it will get voted up even if it's not deserving. Like many writers, I can't judge the quality of my own writing very well, and hell, isn't that what the queue is supposed to be for?

On the other hand I was pretty upset that The Mitigator Strike didn't make it; it was a weird story, yes, but I thought (and still think) it's a pretty good story. From comments I got some people agreed, but enough people abstained that it couldn't get over the hump before autopost dumped it. It was going up steadily the whole time it was in queue, and probably would have reached 80 within another 12 hours, but there was also a flamefest in the comments so the autopost algorithm dumped it. This is a case where you're right; the system requires a consensus, and it didn't materialize in time.

(Of course I have myself to partly blame for that since I was the one who suggested the time limit, but that was the solution to another problem, stories hanging around in the queue for ages. Your suggestions would address that too.)

Of course the flipside of this is that a main reason I write for K5 is that it does mean something to say my story is here, that it wouldn't be here if some actual readers had decided it was worth their time. I do think a sliding threshold that takes the number of votors into account would be a good idea; I recall Rusty mentioning something about that back when the threshold went from 80 to 95, but deciding that the occasional manual adjustment was less effort. Maybe it's time to revisit that idea. But it's hard to predict the actual results of jiggering these thresholds. The Law of Unintended Consequences seems to have been written with this kind of thing in mind.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer

Good post (3.00 / 2) (#140)
by pHatidic on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 07:17:50 PM EST

I think that story submissions should be anonymous until they get posted or dumped for this reason.

[ Parent ]
I doubt that would work (none / 1) (#165)
by localroger on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 08:39:00 PM EST

I think that story submissions should be anonymous until they get posted or dumped for this reason.

The problem with this is that writing isn't a commodity, where all writing that passes minimal standards is the same. I can recognize the writers I like simply by their tone. And besides, if a story is an obvious sequel or followup it's kind of obvious who wrote it.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

anonymous review (none / 1) (#209)
by ghoti on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 10:11:41 AM EST

Your points equally apply to scientific work, yet peer reviewing in science is often done anonymously. At the very least, it would make those knee-jerk reactions less likely: "oh no, localroger again ... -1".
<><
[ Parent ]
Not to mention (3.00 / 2) (#267)
by rusty on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:33:15 AM EST

Just imagine all the extra threads speculating on who the author might be. Ugh.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
well, i'm not your biggest fan, (2.00 / 2) (#141)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 07:25:13 PM EST

but i do think that you should be allowed to take more risks with your stories. in my opinion, your stories bend under the demand to please a fickle audience. i don't know if i'd like your stories without that element -- most likely not -- but it would be unfair for someone who has compared the reception of your stories by the kuro5hin audience to the fin slapping maneuver seals perform after being thrown a fresh nova scotia mackerel not to explain in this context.

i think the queue is good at picking out quality to some extent, but it also judges content -- and not in a neutral or objective way. an article that satisfies certain sentiments amongst the users can be voted up in spite of low quality of writing, but that's not what bothers me. what bothers me is that a high quality piece of writing that expresses a political opinion of almost any kind or that deals with controversial subject matter is dead on arrival.

it's like this: to check that garbage doesn't get to the front page, it's good enough to require that somewhat more than 50% of the users give it their seal of approval. say 55 or 60%. but as you go beyond that, you are getting beyond the realm where the majority is a useful predictor of quality alone. whereas at 60% individual biases somewhat cancel out, as you increase the number past 70% you start running into territory where the fickleness of the voters dominates, not more objective measures of quality of writing and cogency of argument. i suppose you can argue about the numerics of it, but it's completely obvious that as the percentage of the vote required approaches 100%, the usefulness of the queue as a judge of quality completely breaks down. that is the core of my argument.

anyway, you said you'd never respond to me again. ha! victory is mine!


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Never (none / 0) (#185)
by localroger on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 11:03:20 PM EST

It has been at least 2^32 nanoseconds since I replied to you, which is equivalent to "never" in Computer Time. Fortunately for you I don't have a 64-bit operating system yet.

(I could also point out that a comment under a story isn't quite the same as a reply to a comment, but why be petty and lame?)

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

true. (none / 0) (#190)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 11:25:48 PM EST

even if you did that, you'd have to respond to one of my comments anyway. then you'd really fail it.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
Gaming the system (none / 0) (#171)
by Arkaein on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 09:50:15 PM EST

Maybe the concept of people gaming the system can be worked to the site's overall advantage.

I like the idea of having a minimum number of stories posted per day. The obvious problem is that it will allow some occasional stinkers to get through during slow times, but that's not really terrible as plenty of people will complain about the quality of most stories that get posted now. On the other hand, any time that story quality does start slipping it might just prompt people to think "Hey, I can write better than this crap!" And then some of them will.

The thing is that sory submission already has ebbs and flows. For a few days there will be no stories posted, and then the queue will fill up as K5 member seek to remedy the situation, and possibly see a better than usual chance to get something posted on the grounds that other readers are more likely to vote up mediocrity in thin times. By using a minimum story post implementation that pressure to write and submit an be changed from cyclic to steady.

The gamesmanship comes from the desire to out do your peers, and from the promise that just as in many sporting competitions someone must win no matter the strength of the field. If the field is already strong it means that lots of great stories are being posted and the situation is great, if the field is weak I think a lot more writers will be willing to put material forward knowing that they only have to beat others of near equal ability. The standard of quality will be normalized with respect to the true writing abilities of the K5 membership, and not some artifical (and maybe artificially high) standards.

----
The ultimate plays for Madden 2005
[ Parent ]

The drawback (3.00 / 2) (#266)
by rusty on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:30:48 AM EST

If you artificially constrain it to the top X stories per day, then yfi when there are X+N good stories in a day. And, arguably, yfi as well when there are X-N good stories in a day and you post the least crappy of the crap.

People have been making suggestions to force churn from day one, but I just don't buy it. I think the greatest value of story voting comes from the fact that it is based solely on story quality (as far as that is possible with human voters).

I understand the desire for more churn, and believe me, I'd love to see five or six good stories a day posted. But I don't think we should pitch out the quality standard to acheive that. I think that's what makes K5 not just another blog.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Also (none / 1) (#194)
by pHatidic on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 11:37:26 PM EST

I would like to add that usually I always abstain on your articles. The problem is that I read the first couple of pages and then I scroll down to see how long it is and it's like 20 pages. Now I have no problem reading a 20 page story, but I'd like to know that it's good before I read it. Thus I'd rather wait for people into fiction to vote for it, but usually there just aren't enough people willing to read it.

It would be nice if the longer the story was the lower the threshold, because less people will bother to read it the longer it is. But in reality even though this could be easily implemented I doubt it would be.

[ Parent ]

Fiction is suicide (3.00 / 2) (#246)
by GenerationY on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 06:46:54 PM EST

I really wouldn't give it a second thought. By and large the readership here don't actually read very much, you can tell because when they actually sit down to read a proper book without pictures of flying saucers or the word "Star Trek" on the cover they write a diary about it. Sometimes they are right to jump up and down on something for being crap, but to be honest if William Golding and Martin Amis (or whoever) got an account here their stuff would be trashed just as rapidly. Material is read almost entirely linearly which is what you get from a diet of screenplays and honest to goodness genre fiction. Just a few times people have tried to play stylistic games or to (shock horror) add motifs and so on and they only get through if someone points it out loudly enough and early enough in edit. This can't be guaranteed though.

This knowledge gap also applies to politics and current affairs a lot of the time but people's recycling of blogs, radio and newspaper op-ed often papers over the cracks sufficiently that its very hard to call them on it. I have officially given up correcting people when they misuse the word "socialism" for example but at one point it was happening nearly daily and not always from trolls either. Of course its assumed I'm a sandal wearing leftist because of this. Sigh.


[ Parent ]

Wouldn't it be even better (none / 0) (#289)
by sllort on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 11:04:35 AM EST

If people couldn't vote -1? All that brooding negativity directed at you, with no outlet....

Besides the comments, of course.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]

you should email me. (none / 0) (#348)
by the ghost of rmg on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 07:14:52 PM EST

of course, it would be better if you just put an email address on your user page, but emailing me is fine. actually, if you put an email address in your user information, go ahead an email me anyway, because i'm not going to check later to see whether you've put the address there or not.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
WHBT. HTH. HAND. (1.33 / 6) (#142)
by mcgrew on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 07:34:30 PM EST

No, I disagree. For instance, how did this mess get voted up without anyone seemingly doing any editing?

"An outsider's impression would be that this place is a ghost town &mdash which is not so far from the truth"

&mdash? Yeah, a type- the kind of typo that is fatal in programming, ans should be fatal in an article.

Those of you who voted this up should have read the damned thing first, suggested editing (like, for example, putting the semicolon at the end of the &dash or even (gasp) using the "-" character. You know, the DASH???

I suspect rmg of putting that typo in deliberately. He's laughing his ass of at us. And his elephant, too.

Now, my objections.

1. They already go on the front page, in the section box. Plus, if everybody gets on the front page, how than can I gloat? I would change one thing - meta articles would never get FP.

2. I vote we RAISE the vote threshold to keep crap stories like this one (and far worse than this one which isn't bad, for a meta) from being posted.

If there was one thing I learned from running my old website, it was that old content is better than bad content. Yeah, believe it or not sometimes my writing sucks. When I would have a spell of suckiness, my numbers dropped faster than a pair of pants in a whorehouse. Often if I didn't post at all for a couple of days, my numbers would go up as people logged on in anticipation.

The very worst catastrophe was a three or four day dry spell followed by a sucky post. Boy, people are fickle!

As far as getting posted is concerned, I've had a few articles posted here that on further reflection I realized that I would have voted against had somebody else submitted them.

"But it is precisely the irresponsible opinions and unusual takes on things that make a site interesting. If we throw them out in the service of content by consensus, we undermine any advantage a site like this one can have."

There is no consensus here, which is why everyone accuses everyone else of trolling. For example, sellison. I've finally come to the realization that he is not a troll, but actually just somebody with limited reasoning abilities.

We have right wingers and left wingers, GNU hippies and Windows faciests. We have homophobes and heterophobes. We have dyslexicd and hyperlexics. Few of us here are alike in any way, shape, or form.

"Writers here must submit their stories, edit them, watch often bizarre criticisms pop up, sometimes having to act as a rapid response unit to avoid the dreaded ten -1s it takes to kill the article, then wait and wait for the article to be posted or rejected."

That's not how I do it. The "dead tech" story is typical of how I submit - I submit to the edit que and go drinking. I then drunkenly flame everyone who disagrees with me, fix typos and drunkenly introduce more, go to bed, and fix it again in the morning.

Of the stories I've had rejected (yes, I get voted down) only one did I think on further reflection was voted down unfairly. I suspect if I resubmitted it now, it might get section.

"With these changes, we will have a better chance of new and interesting content getting voted up."

No, with these changes we have a greater chance of total dreck being voted up. IMO there's way too much total garbage being voted up as it is.

I would make one change- unless the author moves to vote, or the readership moves to move to vote, an article should sit in the edit que for longer to give more people time to point out typos and innacuracies.

And I would lengthen the time it takes to auto-post, giving more people a chance to vote. There are far too many times I'll be logged on to K5 right before bedtime, with an ampty que, and face a really shitty story in section (or worse) the next morning.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie

you are a moron. (1.50 / 2) (#158)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 07:51:24 PM EST

sellison is a troll, dumbass. unlike you, i'm in the position to know things like this with absolute certainty.

now go write a diary or something.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

+1 FP (none / 0) (#176)
by D Jade on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 10:31:30 PM EST

I love you RMG... Don't listen to these fucks,.,,

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
Not just the churn, but the content itself (2.60 / 5) (#153)
by fossilcode on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 07:43:40 PM EST

I don't agree that a single section would solve K5's ills. I also don't agree that cranking up the churn would necessarily increase K5's appeal.

Kuro5hin has dropped off my list of "must-reads" because of a shift in content. When I first started reading here, one of the big appeals was that this site had an interesting technical focus without being full of the juvenile stuff you had to wade through on Slashdot. Since 2001, I've witnessed a steady shift here as Rusty has become less involved and Inoshiro has abandoned us almost completely (at least as a content contributor). Frankly, I've become bored with "high-minded political" articles that tend to bash anything American with no balanced view. I like fiction like localroger's, but really miss the tech articles. Overall, this site is neither technology, nor culture, but has mostly just sunk into the trenches from which it claims to report, spewing a pretty noxious mix of adolescent ranting and term paper stuff that might earn a passing grade if the author could have found a way to actually make it interesting.

Now of course, I should contribute an article right, so I'm not part of the problem? My own editorial restraint (why write about boring stuff?) is reinforced by the mean-spirited commentary that inevitably surfaces with every submission. So until I have something really meaningful to write about, my contributions will just have to wait.
--
"...half the world blows and half the world sucks." Uh, which half were you again?

No no no (none / 0) (#159)
by pHatidic on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 07:57:22 PM EST

My own editorial restraint (why write about boring stuff?) is reinforced by the mean-spirited commentary that inevitably surfaces with every submission.

That is the whole point of 'collaborative media', to test whether your ideas hold up under the most intense scrutiny possible. Before the internet everyone held different beliefs and you were generally seen as an asshole if you were the kind of person who argued a lot with other people. But on the internet you can force people to defend their beliefs and be forced to defend yours.

This causes ideas to be forced to compete darwinistically, when only the best ideas get to propagate. There are many issues on which K5'ers and hardcore internet users in general differ from the opinions of the general public. This is of this effect, and when ideas are exposed to competition then everyone gets smarter as a result.

In real life if you hold an idea closely that has a logical fallacy in it then probably no one will tell you because they will be too polite. The freedom from the rules of society on the web brings out both the best and the worst of people.

[ Parent ]

You may have missed my point (3.00 / 3) (#162)
by fossilcode on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 08:11:33 PM EST

I don't have an objection to discussion. My point had to do with commentary from the same kind of folks that ruin Slashdot: mean-spirited, trollish morons who would rather post personal attacks and off-topic rants than actually engage in constructive discourse on the subject.
--
"...half the world blows and half the world sucks." Uh, which half were you again?
[ Parent ]
on trolls (3.00 / 3) (#178)
by BottleRocket on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 10:37:03 PM EST

I'd like to discuss this, cuz I feel this is an important topic, and there are two perfectly valid mindsets about this.

Trolls really have the potential to deflate the morale here. On K5, it's sometimes hard to post a story knowing what's waiting for it once it hits the edit queue, and especially once it goes to voting. Getting flamed here can be brutal, and that will make anyone hesitant about posting. They have the right to be, considering the fantastic quality of the trolls on this site. The comments that some of these people post are devestating, cuz they hit you right where you live.

On the other hand, part of me thinks that if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. I posted a story last week that made it to SP, and resisted the urge to respond to anyone's half-baked thought. If I'm posting a story, I'll be just as happy to let it go, 'cuz it's not really mine anymore. But I can see how some people would have a hard time with that.

I'd definetly like to see more content make it up to FP, but I can't see sacrificing quality to achieve it. I don't even feel that all the stories that go FP are good enough. Sometimes, voters just get thirsty for a winner. I do. But luckily it's not entirely up to me what gets posted.

$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $
. ₩ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . *
$ . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $
Yes I do download [child pornography], but I don't keep it any longer than I need to, so it can yield insight as to how to find more. --MDC
$ . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $
. . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . *
. ₩ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $
$B R Σ III$

[ Parent ]

Hang on a second (none / 0) (#183)
by D Jade on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 10:52:17 PM EST

In the real world, there is no way people would speak to each other the way they do on this site. If they did, you'd have like 100s of people acting like O'Reilley and that's just not cool.

Some trolls are devastating. However, they are mostly personal digs. They are not objective, nor are many of them factual. I've had a few wars with trolls who reel of so-called "facts" when you provide them with evidence of your points and ask them to explain their's they eventually have to fall back on the old tactic of insulting your mother. Now I'm all down for yo mamma snaps... But snap at momma in the yo momma diary entry, not in an article about the education system or whatever.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

on yo mamma (none / 0) (#250)
by BottleRocket on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 08:28:47 PM EST

I'm all about yo mamma, too. But that's what I'm talking about. Sometimes the vindictiveness isn't bad, if you know who it's coming from. When people are standing up on the soapbox, having nothing that they think that they don't say, that's commenting at its worst. And I got with all their moms last night.

$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $
. ₩ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . *
$ . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $
Yes I do download [child pornography], but I don't keep it any longer than I need to, so it can yield insight as to how to find more. --MDC
$ . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $
. . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . *
. ₩ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $
$B R Σ III$

[ Parent ]

I agree with you there (none / 0) (#318)
by D Jade on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:05:56 PM EST

I don't mind the yo mamma snaps, I just don't like it when they are abused and misused...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
your ideas intrigue me (none / 0) (#198)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 11:53:53 PM EST

and i wish to subscribe to your newsletter.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
True (none / 1) (#180)
by D Jade on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 10:47:12 PM EST

I remember when I first started posting on K5. I'd make comments based on my own opinion without giving much thought to making sure that my facts were straight. For this, I copped some abuse and insult, but rightly so. I wasted people's time, didn't check my facts and have become more diligent in fact-checking now as a result.

What gets me though is that I was never attacked for having a politicial/social view. I was attacked for not having evidence to support my viewpoint. Fair enough.

However, now most attacks are due to a political viewpoint. Like if I rightly point out the attrocious foreign policies of the US/UK and Australian Governments. I get told by trolls to mind my own business and because I'm not American, I have no right to comment. Even though I can point out that under the US Administration's definition of a terrorist nation, the USA would be classified as (surprise) a terrorist nation.

A statement like that is not an attack on the American people. In fact, it's more of an attack on their misuse of the English language and also of the duality of their morals. Now, this is an interesting topic of debate and a few years back I'm sure many users would have enjoyed such a discussion and everyone would have paticipated in a fair manner. Sure, tempers flare sometimes, but this site used to be about lively debate and difference of opinion. Now it's just bullying and name calling and I and many others don't post as much anymore as a result.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

yeah, i think you're right about the politics. (3.00 / 4) (#160)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 08:00:45 PM EST

my take on this is that the high threshhold puts a clamp on what kind of politics can make it, so all that gets by is a certain kind of bizarre left wingery. if a wider range of politics made the front page, i think it would bring more people into the fold. with greater popularity, i think you'll inevitably get some people willing to revive the technology section.

when people started streaming out of the site two years ago, it was the best that left. it was the people who have a good enough self image that they aren't willing to sit around and be fucked with by crapflooders or get screamed at for their politics. they saw a site that was going to hell and an admin would do absolutely nothing about it.

in my opinion, any dumbass can write a story about politics or the news. technology and science actually require a modicrum of expertise. today's userbase lacks that expertise by and large, and to the extent that it doesn't, it has been demoralized by the pervading nihilism of the rest. while arbitrary judgements in the queue are the rule, people are abused for even daring to submit something and there's no one who stands up against it. i would say it's particularly incumbent upon rusty to provide this sort of support, but it's really everyone's fault.

people are just not willing to put effort into a site that no one seems to care about whilst being abused and facing the very real threat of getting voted down in spite of it all.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Left wingery (3.00 / 2) (#182)
by Drog on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 10:49:24 PM EST

You may be right about the high threshold that prevents certain political opinions from getting posted, but I can't help thinking this happens to virtually every site -- they seem to all start out as or become either left-wing or right-wing. Some think it's a tribal thing, that people just like being around other like-minded people rather than having to debate and defend their positions. As a result, of course, no meaningful debate ever happens and nobody learns anything about other points of view.

I tend to think there's something to this theory, and that the only way to combat it is for the forum itself to explicitly state and continuously strive to be non-partisan, welcoming (and perhaps even inviting) people from both the left and right. That's why I started my own site, and we'll see if my idea works or not.

Looking for political forums? Check out "The World Forum". News feed available here on K5.
[ Parent ]

How to build the popularity of a blog (1.66 / 3) (#164)
by Drog on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 08:20:26 PM EST

Can anyone point me to that Atrios story about how to build the popularity of a blog? I can't seem to find it. I've been killing myself since October, posting one or two stories a day in an attempt to build up an international forum. It hasn't been enough. The site gets a lot of traffic now, due to Google News, but none of them leave comments.

Looking for political forums? Check out "The World Forum". News feed available here on K5.
i couldn't find the damn thing either. (none / 1) (#179)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 10:40:52 PM EST

it's like google didn't index it or something.

basically the finer points were frequent updating and some sort of catch that makes you interesting. either expertise, interesting bio, something that makes you "credible" in some sense. that part was pretty wide open.

if you ask me, i think the answer to your problem is to somehow get a few people posting and make the fact that they are doing so very obvious to other readers. people need to see that other people are writing comments before they bother writing ones of their own. what i'd do is either get some friends to start posting some comments, email some of your users, particularly ones you know, and ask them what they think, or subtly nudge people into responding. it's sort of an avalanche kind of thing. you might try is posting something provocative to break the ice too help these approaches along.

but hey, that's just me. what are you going to do?


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Ideas (none / 0) (#186)
by Drog on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 11:03:32 PM EST

Yeah, I agree with you about comments breeding more comments. It's a catch-22 thing that I haven't solved yet--no users come without comments being there, but no comments get written without users. I could try to post more editorials and essays, in the hopes of provoking more comments, but it takes a lot of time to write those up so I couldn't possibly post them every day. I'll keep plugging away and trying new approaches, I guess. Thanks for your ideas.

Looking for political forums? Check out "The World Forum". News feed available here on K5.
[ Parent ]
do you require registration for commenting? (3.00 / 2) (#189)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 11:17:43 PM EST

if there is any step, any step at all, between getting the notion to post and posting, it will drastically reduce the number of comments you get. if you can allow anonymous commenting do it for at least a little while. as you gain more readers, it may become a problem, but then you'll be in a better position to ask people to register.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
No registration required (none / 0) (#191)
by Drog on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 11:31:24 PM EST

It's a Scoop-based site just like K5 (in fact, it currently looks a little too much like K5, which is something I need to address when I have more time), so anonymous posting is allowed. Lately, I've been putting the following at the end of every story I post:
Tell the world what you think about this story -- get your free account and post your comments. You can also post anonymously now.
Hasn't helped yet, though.

Looking for political forums? Check out "The World Forum". News feed available here on K5.
[ Parent ]
trackback? (none / 0) (#193)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 11:36:48 PM EST

you might be able to get more people coming in if you use hulver's trackback patch and strategically link to certain blogs.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
Funny you should mention that... (none / 0) (#195)
by Drog on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 11:40:39 PM EST

I recently inquired about trackback in scoop, and was told that someone is currently working to generalize hulver's implementation and is close to a working solution. Since I don't have my own server (I use Scoophost), I'll likely have to wait until the official patch is completed and installed.

Looking for political forums? Check out "The World Forum". News feed available here on K5.
[ Parent ]
Hello!! (none / 0) (#205)
by gyan on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 07:04:50 AM EST

It's a catch-22 thing that I haven't solved yet--no users come without comments being there, but no comments get written without users.

 Who says the users have to be other people? :wink:

********************************

[ Parent ]

No no no... (none / 0) (#212)
by Drog on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 11:23:01 AM EST

Don't give me ideas like that. I can't hear you, I can't hear you, lalalalalalalala.

Looking for political forums? Check out "The World Forum". News feed available here on K5.
[ Parent ]
Thoughts (none / 1) (#197)
by pHatidic on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 11:47:22 PM EST

I read your posts but to be honest most of them don't really lend themselves that well to discussion. Also, what you do is similar to other projects that already exist: wikinews, indymedia, ohmynews, freeinternetpress.com, etc. The problem is that whenever anything interesting happens it is covered by mainstream blogs and message boards already. Your site is mostly day to day news, and is too uncontroversial to provoke any reaction.

If I were going to write for any one of these I'd write for wikinews because that way the articles would be under GPL so they would be more widely used.

[ Parent ]

You've given me food for thought (none / 0) (#211)
by Drog on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 11:15:30 AM EST

Thanks for the constructive criticism, and for all your postings to The World Forum site. I've been thinking since last night about your statement that most of the TWF stories don't lend themselves that well to discussion and are too uncontroversial to provoke any reaction.

I agree that they're not very controversial, but I don't understand why the most important news stories happening in the world on any given day wouldn't lend themselves to interesting discussion. I realize that K5 predominantly posts lengthy essays and opinion pieces, which obviously do lend themselves quite well to discussion. But the four stories I cross-posted to K5 generated discussion. And sites like Slashdot just have quick little blurbs with links to interesting--but usually uncontroversial--stories and they generate tons of discussion.

I have certainly always assumed that getting enough knowledgeable people together on a site about daily world events and ongoing world issues would result in interesting discussions. And I have always assumed that the lack of those discussions has been because I have thus far failed to attract enough such people.

I'm not saying you're wrong here, because the evidence thus far certainly points in favour of your argument. I'm just saying that if you're right, I don't understand why yet.

As for GPL's, Wikinews asked me before if they could use my stories and I said sure. I have been talking with Scoop developers, though, regarding the possibility of user being able to choose the license that they want to be applied to their submission. I think that would be a great feature. For right now, I am pretty sure that the author should be able to simply state which license they want to use at the end of their story, since right now, all stories belong to the poster and TWF just has the write to display them but not do anything with them.

Looking for political forums? Check out "The World Forum". News feed available here on K5.
[ Parent ]

Stories that lend themselves to discussion (none / 0) (#337)
by Drog on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 10:30:55 AM EST

So I've still been thinking about your comment. I just posted a story now about how North Korea just admitted to having nukes. Then I went to Slashdot and saw the same story there, albeit just a tiny summary with a link, and saw that there were almost 400 comments on it already. That makes me think that maybe normal everyday news about world events can spark discussions after all, so long as there is a large enough user base -- which, of course, I don't have.

Looking for political forums? Check out "The World Forum". News feed available here on K5.
[ Parent ]
Because you're hiding the comment section. (3.00 / 2) (#220)
by ghjm on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 01:21:08 PM EST

I took a look at your site, and here's what I noticed: If I read your front page, top to bottom, then I have the meat of all your articles. There's no real reason for me to look at the detail of any particular article, unless I happen to be really interested in the specific topic.

If you want comments, you need to get people to click through to the article pages and read the comments. On a site that gets a lot of comments, most of them aren't responses to articles - they're responses to other comments. If someone reads 10 comments for every article, then they have 11 opportunities to see something they "just have to" respond to.

So if you want more comments, I would recommend that you make the intro text shorter for front page articles, and write it in a way that hints at more interesting "stuff" under the fold. Once you get people onto the article pages, it's a relatively natural thing to "just keep reading" and wind up in the comment section.

I didn't sign up for an account so I don't know if there are unnecessary barriers to posting a comment for the first time. If there are, then you also need to remove them.

You can test whether my theories make any sense by looking at front page vs. article page hit counts and seeing if there's any correlation to the number of comments posted.

-Graham

[ Parent ]

Interesting... (none / 0) (#227)
by Drog on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 02:16:57 PM EST

So you're saying I need to end each intro with a hook -- something to get them to read the rest of the story and see the comments. That could very well be. Looking at the frontpage hits vs story hits won't tell me anything, though, since the stories receive tons of direct hits via Google News (and also a bit via RSS). Still, I'll try your idea out and see if it helps.

Looking for political forums? Check out "The World Forum". News feed available here on K5.
[ Parent ]
without a hook (3.00 / 2) (#233)
by janra on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 03:01:21 PM EST

why read on?

The headline is a hook for the intro, the intro is a hook for the body and comments...

--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]

discuss is too weak a verb. (none / 0) (#236)
by the ghost of rmg on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 03:39:06 PM EST

you need to rethink your "link and discuss" or whatever. it needs to be absolutely crystal clear that the user can immediately post his or her thoughts. "discuss" is ambiguous because it relies on the presence of people the user can't see and has no evidence exist. it's mealy-mouthed garbage.

try "opine" or "post a reply" or something of that nature.

additionally, "link" is confusing. it took me at least ten seconds to figure out why you used that verb in context.

and i don't care if those are scoop's defaults. i happen to find scoop's designer to lack good design instincts, so it should be immediately obvious that a site running scoop will need to be extensively customized before going live.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Wait a minute... (none / 0) (#252)
by Drog on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 09:54:43 PM EST

It sounds like you're talking about Daily Kos, where it says "Link & Discuss" whenever the extended part of the story is not blank. On my site, it says "Read and discuss full story". On K5, it says "Full Story".

If I changed it to be "post a reply", then newbies wouldn't realize that there's more to the story.

Looking for political forums? Check out "The World Forum". News feed available here on K5.
[ Parent ]

irrelevant. (none / 0) (#256)
by the ghost of rmg on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 10:28:21 PM EST

you want commenters, not readers. readers are just wasting your bandwidth.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
Factual Note (2.62 / 8) (#167)
by greenrd on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 08:56:56 PM EST

On bloglines.com, k5 currently has 7,006 subscribers. That is over a quarter of the number of people subscribing to Slashdot, seven times the number of Groklaw subscribers, and 18 times the number of BoingBoing subscribers.

Of course, bloglines.com only counts the number of people subscribing to all these sites through bloglines. Which makes it a bit unreliable as an indicator. But it gives you some idea of k5's popularity.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes

oh, and kuro5hin also has 60,000 users! (2.33 / 3) (#170)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 09:44:18 PM EST

bloglines are abandoned as often as accounts are. the only real indicator of readership is right here. i suppose looking at number of people voting in the queue is a good indicator too.

kuro5hin having a quarter of the subscriptions as slashdot is a statement about demographics, not absolute popularity.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

There are many nay-sayers below, but.. (2.20 / 5) (#172)
by RofGilead on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 09:50:40 PM EST

the author of this piece is correct. The front page seriously does need more content. Period. Otherwise this site becomes boring. And it is not like the diaries section is full of intellectual posts. Most days, the diary section is overrun by total losers who are just posting absolute bullshit one line trolls. Seriously, k5 has been hurting for a while.

There are still good stories every now and again, and most of the stories that make it through the queue are worth atleast a half-glance at the title. Perhaps there could be a mechanism where there is a cutoff of so many new stories on the front page, so if the front page is getting churned thru too quickly, more stories will end up only in section. Otherwise, if there isn't enough stories being produced, more stories will go to the front page to atleast keep k5 worth checking frequently.

I agree that k5 should atleast make some effort to interest people enough that there is a drive for them to post their own quality stories.

-= RofGilead =-

---
Remember, you're unique, just like everyone else. -BlueOregon

Slightly different approach. (2.00 / 4) (#173)
by gyan on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 10:01:20 PM EST

 Keep the sections, but all stories are posted to the front page, with no section-only stories. The section tag is just metadata for organization.

 Instead, introduce a third type of entry, besides the story and diary, which is a snippet or brief story, currently known as MLP. These are small 1 or 2 paragraph link-infested writeups that highlight interesting things on or off the web, a la metafilter. The difference from the current arrangement is that posting threshold is +20. On the front page, they should appear among the stories, with probably a shaded background to highlight their status.

********************************

i am offended, kind sir... (none / 0) (#175)
by kpaul on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 10:22:30 PM EST

MLPs can be so much more than what you describe.

well, ok, maybe not offended.

also, with a threshold of only 20, i would be worried about what goes through. you have to remember the sheer numbers of the troll accounts...

btw, what's your sig mean?


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Sheesh. (none / 0) (#202)
by gyan on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 02:58:10 AM EST

 Fine. Ignore that I compared the proposed content to MLPs. let's just call them 'briefs'.

btw, what's your sig mean?

 Thou shalt be indifferent. As you can see, I haven't reached that stage yet.

********************************

[ Parent ]

actually, if you read the article, (none / 0) (#181)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 10:49:03 PM EST

your first sentence is exactly what i advocate. in fact, front page stories still have the section data attached for searching purposes. the only change i propose is displaying all of the section articles on the front page after they're voted up.

scoop, from what i understand, is a pretty tangled mess and complicated changes are unlikely to happen for that reason. this is why i've stuck to changes that can be made without screwing around with the code. unfortunately, having different queues and/or threshholds for different kinds of content is not an easy thing to add to the current code base -- though i actually proposed an idea like this one a while ago.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

In that case... (none / 0) (#203)
by gyan on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 03:12:30 AM EST

 I didn't ignore your article, which is why the title of the parent post is 'slightly different approach'.

 If the different type of content can't be done, how about this: people can submit these brief entries to their diaries with the title prefixed with "Snippet: " or whatever. Every few hours, say, 4, a rusty-appointed cabal reviews all candidates and posts all good entries upto a certain limit (no more than, say, 7). I guess that can be done with no tweaking, except granting posting privileges to 10-12 members of the cabal. To keep it democratic, new members replace 3rd of the old ones every 3-4 weeks.

********************************

[ Parent ]

We need more like this. (2.63 / 11) (#187)
by student on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 11:05:29 PM EST

Story:  http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2002/5/17/105325/709

Comment:  http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2002/5/17/105325/709/52#52


Simon's Rock College of Bard, a college for younger scholars.

all good points (2.75 / 8) (#192)
by Trae on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 11:36:24 PM EST

I have a newcomer's point of view, and since this will leave someday soon one way or another...I shall give it. I see that the front page content is slow to change; it hasn't bothered me, but bewildered me a bit. I sought out the sections and didn't find much more. What I came across I found worth reading, and if I didn't read it on first glance..then perhaps on second or third. It's easy to get content, it's everywhere on the net. I can find all the content I could want by hitting a couple of favorites links.

I see a community here...that's kind of interesting...you certainly seem to care, and passion flows in all directions, but I haven't figured out who you are yet, so I'm feeling you out to decide if I will stay. I tend to like it when real people are actually conversing, rather than wasting my time following links to idiotic comments..but then again it's nice to find the gem in there as well. I like a cow rendered in characters too once in a while.

10 negatives votes seems severe to me. You could lower the threshold for getting on the front page, then position the article based on activity...either people voting to keep it there or number of comments, or a combination of both. Perhaps that way bad stuff would drop off quickly and the good stuff bubbles to the top.

wow (3.00 / 2) (#199)
by vera on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 01:36:25 AM EST

You have the most amazingly-normal-person-sounding argument out of everything here.  I'm sincerely wonderstruck.

[ Parent ]
Well... (3.00 / 2) (#204)
by BJH on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 06:32:28 AM EST

...he did say he's new here. Give him enough time, and he'll be as embittered and wretched as the rest of us.
--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]
I aspire to bitter & wretched. [n/t] (none / 0) (#279)
by mr strange on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:30:10 AM EST



intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]
Note (none / 0) (#269)
by rusty on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:39:30 AM EST

rmg severely overstates his case in order to sway those who aren't paying attention. His "ten -1 votes" won't do anything, even if there are no other votes. It takes a score of -20 to drop a story, and that's additive -- every +1 vote cancels a -1.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Case in point: This story. (none / 0) (#271)
by pwhysall on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:55:47 AM EST

Went FP with 67 -1s.
--
Peter
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
CheeseBurgerBrown
[ Parent ]
yfi. (none / 0) (#359)
by the ghost of rmg on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 11:54:03 AM EST

your reading of the article is incorrect. i know it's satisfying for a pathetic little computer janitor like yourself to think he's outsmarted someone with a real education, but you've only shown illiterate you are and nothing else.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
wrong. (none / 0) (#358)
by the ghost of rmg on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 11:52:29 AM EST

ten -1 votes represents a five percent swing in the vote. that can easily kill stories, which bearly post at 60% as your table shows. more than that, it can even more easily bury it in section box, which is still there for some strange reason.

it's interesting that while a huge majority of the kuro5hin voters seemed to get this point, the most loud mouthed amongst them, i.e. the ones who have posted complaining about the article, did not. in fact, this speaks to the general trend: only the bottom of the barrel can be bothered to comment on anything here.

well done on the facitilitating intelligent discussion thing.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Made-up numbers (none / 0) (#362)
by rusty on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 01:14:18 PM EST

ten -1 votes represents a five percent swing in the vote

Nice. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

would you agree the average number of votes (none / 0) (#363)
by the ghost of rmg on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 01:55:15 PM EST

on articles is about 200, neglecting those that hit the -20 threshhold?

would you also agree that 10 is 5% of 200?



rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Wow (1.83 / 12) (#200)
by trhurler on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 02:04:12 AM EST

I can't believe this crap made the front page.

Anyone who thinks K5 is a popularity contestant with the likes of fark, Slashdot, or whatever ought to just fucking leave. Seriously. If you want Slashdot or Plastic or something like that, GO THERE.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

But... (3.00 / 3) (#207)
by skyknight on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 07:51:46 AM EST

clearly something is broken right now. The throughput on K5 right now is atrocious. Even if RMG's ideas aren't brilliant, this is definitely a topic worth discussing. We should be very careful to preserve K5's unique flavor, since as you indeed say, if you want Slashdot, go to Slashdot, but we also need to consider how to avoid having K5 sputter out of existence. Does not the present state of affairs strike you as severely atrophied from, say, two years ago?

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Yes, it has certainly atrophied... (none / 1) (#214)
by ghjm on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 11:52:21 AM EST

...but this happened more than a year ago, and was discussed at great length back then. If Rusty had been interested in making the site more popular, he was given a good list of ideas for how to go about it. The fact that he has not done so suggests suggest that he isn't that interested.

Why might this be the case?

  1. Maybe Rusty likes the site smaller. Perhaps he doesn't have time to manage the inevitable idiocy and problems that arise from having a "tier 1" popular site. E.g., the naked pictures of his wife, etc.
  2. Perhaps there are financial considerations involved. More traffic means bigger servers, higher hosting bills, etc. Perhaps Rusty's deal with Voxel specifies a bandwidth cap above which they won't host for free any more.
  3. Maybe Rusty is committed to some sort of ideology that we don't fully understand, but which the current configuration supports in some way. For example:
    • Maybe he's doing data mining on people's voting behavior under a specific set of circumstances, for an economics department or a market research firm.
    • Perhaps there's a backdoor to retrieve cancelled articles, which are being used for steganography - so it's important to be able to guarantee that a given article will be voted down, even if it isn't obviously bogus.
    • Maybe the purpose of the site is to provide search engine "juice" for other (perhaps money-making) sites, and Rusty figured out that traffic beyond a given threshold is unnecessary.
    My point isn't that these scenarios are likely; it's that we are not in a position to know what the full set of goals are for the site.
  4. Maybe the site is running on auto-pilot and nobody looks at it or does anything to it at all, unless it's actually down.
  5. Maybe Rusty's just tired of the project and wouldn't be against seeing it to die, but lacks the grit to kill it outright.

-Graham

[ Parent ]

i think you might be right on some of this. (none / 0) (#218)
by the ghost of rmg on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 12:42:36 PM EST

rusty gets his hosting for free, which is part of why i think he has an obligation to do something with the site, but aside from that and your research idea, i think you're probably right.

the issue on the "idiocy associated with popularity" is that rusty has two problems: he absolutely refuses to act as a guiding hand. he will not provide any leadership and he will not enforce any standards to prevent guys like pocide and night in white satin from getting out of hand -- until the problem absolutely can't be ignored any longer. at the same time, he refuses to decentralize his power outside of a small ring of his irc buddies -- this is why pwhysall is an editor, even though he has done nothing in the past two years beyond provoking crapflooders while at the same time providing no real check against their retribution.

the answer is for rusty to grow a pair and get enlist a lot of help to regulate and eliminate crapflooding. it's problematic because he's likely to pick up a bunch of nerds like pwhysall who can't distinguish between what should be accepted on site that purports to allow free speech and what should be regarded as crapflooding, but there's not much option.

of course, my perrenial suggestions on this matter are well known. there is probably no one else in the community better able to carefully seperate the cruft out without throwing any baby out with it, but hey, no one trusts a troll.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

I have had thoughts along the same lines. (none / 0) (#275)
by skyknight on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 07:54:48 AM EST

I have had conversations with Rusty in which he has said that he really likes K5, and that it would leave a hole in his life were it gone, and I believe him, so I don't think that he is deliberately trying to kill it. However, I do think it entirely plausible that he has conflicting interests, and that as such he may not have K5's best interests at heart in all cases. I think that it has more or less been admitted in the past that K5 is a social experiment of sorts, though precisely what the experiment is is anyone's guess. It being an experiment in "democracy" would strike me as not quite right, as what connotes "democracy" is an arbitrarily many different systems that employ voting. If K5 is an experiment in democracy, it is along the lines of how NOT to run a democracy. :-)

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
1 and 4 (none / 1) (#284)
by rusty on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 10:08:17 AM EST

Though less 4 nowadays than it has been for the past year or so. I do honestly like the site a little smaller than it was. The difference between running a 2.5 million hit per month site and an 8 million hit per month site is larger than you'd think. More opportunities for scaling issues, more user trouble, more fights, etc etc. It isn't a cost thing -- Voxel would be happier if we used more bandwidth, not less. But in terms of overall hassle it's a lot better this way.

That's not to say I've ever done anything specifically to try to diminish traffic on the site. I mean, more traffic also means more income, so I do have some pressure the other way. Last year, I was pretty much just busy as hell. I still am, I guess, but there's more of a K5 slot in there now.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

You know (3.00 / 2) (#248)
by trhurler on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 07:26:10 PM EST

I'd love to agree with you, but we all know why the post throughput is so low.

Namely, the site achieved its peak for awhile, and then when things started to drag it down and users started leaving in droves, rusty insisted on pretending that this was just a natural occurrence and that more great users would show up to take their place. Those of us who knew better were ignored. For awhile, crapflooding and trolling were king. These days, nobody even stops a guy from posting a blatant advertisement as a story. But, even the crapflooders have gotten bored, because at this point, things are going so far that there's not really enough people to annoy.

Nothing can bring back those people in any significant numbers. Without them, you can have quantity, but where will the quality come from? From rmg? Hehe...

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
I suppose that there is a lot of truth to this. (none / 0) (#272)
by skyknight on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 07:44:15 AM EST

Much as a significant fraction of the capital of a company lies in the work force that it has assembled, so too does much of the value of a web community lie in the cadre of writers it can count among its own. In this vein, K5 has perhaps squandered its greatest asset. The Scoop engine, while nifty, is not something that K5 can claim as its own, and thus that is not a competitive advantage. The only other thing that K5 really has going for it is its name. There is some chance that this can serve to salvage things, but only if other changes are made.

As I think you might have said in a diary about a year ago, or maybe it was someone else, a successful parasite tries to do its deed while ensuring the long term health of the host. Alas, the breed of invaders that has plagued K5 has been more Ebola than E Coli.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
fp (none / 0) (#259)
by assa9 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 02:47:16 AM EST

I wish some of the ppl that have such passionate opinions about what constitutes fp material would demonstrate a good fp. I guess it's easier to knowitall about other ppls ideas?

[ Parent ]
true story (2.16 / 6) (#208)
by jonny dov on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 08:52:33 AM EST

honestly, there was a while in late December/early January where the front page wasn't updated for _two weeks_. That's bloody ridiculous. A site like this is meant to be an every-day check, not a two-week check. I'd like to see the front page updated more than once a day if there's enough content. Sure, it's a slight downgrade on the content, but sheesh, two freaking weeks.

Registered just to post this... (2.38 / 13) (#213)
by kensho on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 11:45:27 AM EST

I am a 6-month lurker and this is my biggest gripe with K5. I like content. I like new content daily. There are a bunch of sites that I check daily: Slashdot, Fark, Wired...etc  K5 was one of these sites for the first month after I discovered it until I noticed something strange.

It seemed that days would go by without any sort of update. I didn't really understand why. To me it seemed like there just weren't enough pieces being submitted.

I quit reading K5, and then a few months later gave it another shot. This is when I discovered the "section pages".

Yes thats right... I had no idea that they existed. I have a degree in CS and am hardly a novice. I just didn't notice the links at the top of the page. Now that I have discovered them, the problem is that I just don't have the time to go browsing through them. When I look for content, its usually for a quick read before work/school...or during class...or while I am studying.  

I am sure that I am not the only one that was unwilling to dig past the first page.

I see no reason why to not just send ALL the accepted works through the mainpage. What is the reasoning against this?

Another solution would be to make sure that  at least one new story goes to the front page every day.

fOR iNFO (none / 0) (#217)
by Uber Banker 2 on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 12:36:40 PM EST

thERE IS A BANNER DOWN THE LEFT OF THE FRONT PAGE WHICH HAS 'NEWEST SECTION STORIES'. iN ADDITION THERE IS QUITE A LOT OF STUFF OF GOOD QUALITY GOING THROUGH THE VOTE QUEUE, BUT AS POINTED OUT IN THE STORY, OFTEN THIS IS CONTROVERSIAL AND GETS SCORED NET-0, OR WORSE - SO CHECK THAT OUT NOW YOU'RE REGISTERED.

[ Parent ]
ok (none / 0) (#254)
by kensho on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 10:11:23 PM EST

thanks

[ Parent ]
"Everything" is what you're looking for (none / 0) (#301)
by anno1602 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 02:06:42 PM EST

The left-most link "Everything" in the top link bar will do what you want.
--
"Where you stand on an issue depends on where you sit." - Murphy
[ Parent ]
Write Better Stories (2.50 / 6) (#215)
by mikepence on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 12:14:29 PM EST

The tweaks recommended are ok, but I maintain that the way to generate traffic for this site is to Write Better Stories.

Much of what has passed the queue since the beginning of the new year has been substandard, IMHO. Putting all of those stories on the front page will, no doubt, attract more traffic, but it will also put some mediocre stuff front and center. Do we really want that?

There are plenty of eyeballs on this site -- a good K5 story can shoot right to the top of blogdex. Writing more, and better, stories will drive traffic like nothing else.

I agree. (none / 0) (#219)
by aphrael on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 01:07:23 PM EST

Both of the stories i've submitted since the start of the year have been substandard.

[ Parent ]
Shucks (none / 0) (#221)
by mikepence on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 01:22:10 PM EST

I am not meaning to single anybody out, but now that you mention it...

[ Parent ]
heh. (none / 0) (#223)
by aphrael on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 01:51:09 PM EST

i'm quite happy to admit it. the gay marriage one was hard because i started writing it before i finished reading the decision. *Very* bad practice.

[ Parent ]
It needed a personal angle (none / 0) (#224)
by mikepence on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 01:57:54 PM EST

I was at a funeral last week and a very good friend of ours, who I will call Bill, is struggling to find someone for his partner, Mark, to marry so that Mark can stay in the States. Mark has been a productive, tax-paying resident here for over 15 years, but he can only stay if he marries a woman for 3 years (1 year if she is Cuban, such is the power of Cubans in S. Florida).

That sucks. It is so wrong that homosexuals cannot marry.

A personal angle like that on the story would have spiced it up. I'll expect better from you in the future. ;-)

[ Parent ]

Hmm. (none / 1) (#225)
by aphrael on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 02:00:25 PM EST

Usually my court-decision reporting is dry and newsie; I want to keep editorializing out of the article and in the comments. I'm also ... uncomfortable ... bringing personal angles into gay rights stories. I don't want it to be about *me*. Friday's article just failed at the dry and newsie style, which is unusual for me.

As for international gay marriages - Yes. Absolutely. The fact that gay couples can't help each other immigrate to the US is a travesty. The reverse is true, though: if a gay man falls in love with a Dane ....

[ Parent ]

Dry and Newsie (none / 1) (#228)
by mikepence on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 02:20:26 PM EST

I understand the intent to be informative; I just prefer stories that have a human angle. If you can't be opinionated on the net, where can you? I pretty much mirror Scott Rosenberg's attitude toward being objective -- it is a convenient fiction.

Besides, every story we write is ultimately about ourselves. It springs from our own soul, our own motivations and feelings, no matter what the subject.

K5 is at its best when we pen personal paeans and when we bleed on the page.

[ Parent ]

Yes, but (none / 0) (#229)
by aphrael on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 02:28:03 PM EST

my motivation with court-related stories is somewhat different. Reporting on Supreme Court decisions is pretty much uniformly bad - it oversimplifies decisions, obscures arguments, and makes the intellectual history of the reasoning impossible to discern. This leads to political opposition to those decisions which, being based on bad reports, has no relation whatsoever to what was actually decided. Perfectly reasonable decisions are derided by people on both sides of the political spectrum who haven't read them and who have formed derisory opinions based on secondhand hearsay.

I want to make sure that the actual reasoning of the decision is reported somewhere in language non-lawyers can understand, and then let people argue *about that* rather than the abridged summaries put out by AP, Reuters, etc.

[ Parent ]

Okay (none / 0) (#230)
by mikepence on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 02:42:05 PM EST

Now that you explain it that way, I understand. You want to color the story in a way that makes it plain and that does justice to the decision. That is a noble goal.

[ Parent ]
the spoiled brat argument. (2.50 / 6) (#235)
by the ghost of rmg on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 03:29:28 PM EST

"no, it's not the system, the stories just aren't good enough! the writers aren't good enough! those fucking losers should take some courses at their local community college!"

what the administrators and many members of the "community" don't get is that you are not doing the writer a favor by posting his story. he's doing you a favor by writing it.

you can't just instruct everyone to write better stories and go about your business as if everything will just clear up. you idiots have been saying we need better stories and therefore people should write them since i got here. it doesn't fucking work.

you can't get results without doing something.

if people aren't writing good stories, then you should not think "oh, well maybe people just spontaneously decided to stop writing or write nothing but crap." you should instead think, "hmm. why have people stopped writing good stories and how can either address whatever problems there may be, find workarounds for them, or create incentives to somehow get them going again." -- but of course, this is not the way people at kuro5hin think.

you can't just sit back thinking that everything is arbitrary and that there are no real reasons behind anything that goes on. you have to look for the causes of problems and fucking address them.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Not True (none / 1) (#237)
by pHatidic on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 04:09:26 PM EST

what the administrators and many members of the "community" don't get is that you are not doing the writer a favor by posting his story. he's doing you a favor by writing it.

The writer gets by far more benefit than the readers. The writer gets hundreds of people to follow his train of thought and see if his conclusions are logical or not. The writer gets the exposure from having their writing read by thousands of people. The writer gets people to help edit their writing and suggest new ideas, which the writer can then incorporate to make his writing better if he wants to publish something similar elsewhere. For the small price of spending a few hours writing something up then the writer gets to control the flow of conversation and harness the emergent brainpower of thousands.

On the other hand, the reader is just looking for something interesting to read and talk about. With the way K5 works the user has to read the article in order to see if it is worth reading, because they are the ones vetting it.

[ Parent ]

shut the fuck up. (1.50 / 6) (#238)
by the ghost of rmg on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 04:18:41 PM EST

your useless contrarianism has been noted elsewhere. your obsessive tracking of my comments is nothing but a sycophantic attempt at trolling, much like what mcgrew started but gave up on.

the attitude you express has led this site to where it is today -- lost and forgotten.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

reminds me of open source (none / 0) (#257)
by QuantumG on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 12:31:56 AM EST

back when every contribution was a god-send people were so much more polite. Now you can spend two weeks writing exactly what the project needs and either your patch will be ignored or you'll be asked to make bullshit minor edits that the project maintainers could do themselves. This is best evidenced on kuro5hin where someone writes a 5000 word essay and gets voted -1 because they mispelt word 2136.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Let's do it ourselves (2.12 / 8) (#222)
by mikepence on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 01:25:40 PM EST

I just went to the Boca Raton Town Center for lunch, just so that I could fondle a Mac mini at the Apple store. I am obsessed.

But that is not my point! On the way back, I was thinking about this (among other things -- I maintain that I do have a life) and it occurred to me that we could all just start ignoring the +1 SP option and just vote either -1, 0, or +1FP on everything that enters the queue.

Spread the word! Viva la FP! Now is the time to stand up against our SP oppressors!

Damnit! (2.57 / 7) (#231)
by fluxrad on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 02:43:16 PM EST

TGoRMG has made me agree with his punk ass (Ok, to be frank, I neither remember nor care how often I agree with his "punk ass," but that's neither here nor there). In fact, I'm actually rather pissed I feel the need to involve myself in a conversation surrounded by the dreaded "Meta" word. It generally reminds me of a cluster of bourgeois plaid-laden sailing cap wearing motherfuckers setting up an iLAN at the local Starbucks just because they can.

Irrispective of that, K5 is suffering from a serious content problem. The front page will go for days without a new post and the stories that make it in are invariably of poorer and poorer quality. It's driving off potential new blood and, more importantly, is having an adverse affect on those still here.

As for myself...I stay here for two simple reasons. One is that I keep hoping the site will make a come back (though this seems an increasingly remote possiblity). The other is that I don't particularly have anywhere else to go. There aren't many sites out there with the entertainingly eclectic user-base of Kuro5hin. Even most of the trolls are entertaining, albeit distracting.

But that second point is part of the problem. The farther into the mud K5 falls, the more people it brings with it, like some sort of bloggish black-hole. When I started here, K5 mostly consisted of quality articles and few trolls. Those that did frequent the site were nothing more than a small amount of noise to the comparatively large signal. These days, now that I see fewer and fewer articles worth discussing (and the politics has subsided), I find myself icreasingly participating in the trollish behavior of the dreaded...Diary section. I've seen the same thing happen to a number of other users too. It's not that we particularly want to behave like asses, but that there's nothing else to do. One could argue that we should simply write the stories ourselves...but I've had two stories posted here already. You've all seen my writing; let's just call it a content generation mechanism of last-resort.

So what's to be done? I've got no fscking idea. Both TGoRMG's ideas seem relatively reasonable at this point in time. They're definitely not permanent solutions, since you've got to raise the standards once content starts to flow again. Another idea would be a larger and more participatory editorship, allowing more people to help with the daily "maintenance" of this site, perhaps enabling them to anonymize users or fast-edit the queue to post stories worthy of the front page immediately.

I doubt any of these ideas will actually be implimented, but it would be nice to see K5 return to it's old dynamic self soon.

Anyway, I'm off to troll the diaries.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
Will this really change sth? Experiment for rmg (none / 1) (#239)
by whynot on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 05:17:01 PM EST

Go to http://kuro5hin.org. Click that link on top of the page. that says "Everything". Now compare the  content to the front page. Do you see a big difference?

I don't see why your suggestions could really result in a significant change.

Fact is that either nobody has to tell new things or nobody wants to write them - there are no (/not enough) new stories. Did the regular writers leave kuro5? Are they still here but don't like to write anymore? If so: Why?

yes, i see a huge difference. (none / 1) (#240)
by the ghost of rmg on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 05:25:27 PM EST

are you serious? the everything section has an article almost every day. the front page profoundly does not.

the reasons that people don't write are complex, but you can at least remove part of the disincentive to write by giving authors more space when it comes to voting.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

my bad (none / 0) (#243)
by whynot on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 06:12:30 PM EST

you are correct I fucked up on this. Sorry for the confusion.

[ Parent ]
Why should we be able to nominate diaries to FP? (none / 1) (#245)
by frijolito on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 06:26:29 PM EST

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2005/2/2/43137/84082

A-frickin-men! (2.33 / 3) (#251)
by sethadam1 on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 08:34:27 PM EST

How about you can only vote +2, +1, 0, -1, and -2.  Each day, the top three rated stories go on the front page (live, as they are voted, so they can be dynamically re-routed to section if need be), there's a dump threshold, things in the queue without votes too long are refused, and everything left goes to section?  That way, everyday, you get a front page that is truly living.

K5 is way too boring because the best shit happens in queue discussions.  I refresh Slashdot all day.  I come to k5 once a week.  I post to Slashdot nearly everyday.  I post to k5 once every 6 months or so.  Slashdot makes lots of money.  K5... well, who knows.  

But it's gotta be true that increased readership is a good thing, and one would assume that would raise the quality of the submissions as well.

sections and tags (2.50 / 6) (#264)
by rusty on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:24:16 AM EST

I like the first idea. We don't really have enough articles posted to bother with the front page/section page split anymore -- probably never did, but back in the day it seemed like the way things were done. I think you're right that it's unnecessary though.

This ties in well with something else I've been thinking about doing anyway. I just wrote some code for Scoop (awaiting review for CVS) to handle "tags", as implemented on metafilter, flickr and so forth. I've been thinking about converting from a section categorization system to an open tag system here. Basically, when you posted a story, you'd tag it with one or more words loosely describing what it's about. So, this story might be "meta storyqueue rmgisafagort". Over time, people choosing the same words would build up a less restricted and more organic categorization system. I was thinking about starting by just tagging all stories with their current section -- so basically the tags start off mirroring the existing sections. But as we add new stories, the categories would expand. It would make it rather easier to do this if we just put everything on the front page. Also, then I could do something like making the top navigation bar just pull out the top five or six tags dynamically. That'd be pretty cool.  :-)

About the threshold, I'm not very convinced it needs to change again. 40 or 50 is definitely too low. The balancing act is always to skim off the good stories and drop the bad ones, and I haven't seen many good stories going down lately. I could see maybe trying 70, but it's just not a big deal. I think going from 90 to 80 made a bigger difference than lowering it further would.

____
Not the real rusty

Forget lowering the threshold. (none / 1) (#274)
by gyan on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 07:51:00 AM EST

 I don't think stories need to have an easier ride. But there needs to be more content. What I recommended below is, let users post MLP-like entries to their diaries. Ask them to prefix the title with "Entry: " or whatever. Maybe every few hours or twice-a-day, let a few appointed trusted people be allowed to select 6-8 of these and post them to the front page. That should ensure quality-control and keep good content coming. The details can be worked out if the core idea appeals.

********************************

[ Parent ]
the balancing act (2.50 / 4) (#276)
by the ghost of rmg on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:03:03 AM EST

is finding where articles with controversial or ideological content can pass consistently if well argued and written. it is absolutely obvious that as you increase the threshhold toward requiring a 100% majority, it becomes a restriction not on merit but on content. what you need is not a statement of why you have a threshhold in the first place, but why it is at its particular value.

look, say you had the right system, i.e. a quorum, which is where you decide on a "quorum," a number of voters needed to make the decision, and a percentage of the vote that must be obtained to pass the queue when that quorum is reached. in that situation, it strikes me as highly unlikely that you would be arguing in favor of a 70-75% majority, which is the de facto situation today, rather than something close to 60%. the bizarre mathematics of your threshhold system are the only thing that keep your argument with respect to it from being completely absurd on the face of it. the threshhold conceals what is going on here: you require a ridiculous majority well in excess of what is needed to maintain the level of quality we see on the front page and the section articles.

the right way to think about this is not quality versus quantity. it's whether you're going to allow authors to take risks with unpopular opinions or topics, which might provide a lot of variety and interest to the front page, or whether you are going to require them to compromise in everything they do by making them have to please almost everyone. you talk about the articles that get rejected (and i don't think you're right about that -- it's something you are in the unique position to allow us to see for ourselves, however), but i talk about the articles that are never written because the authors know they can't fly with a seventy percent consensus requirement. how can one get into what they're writing if they know that saying anything even slightly "outside the box" is going to get the the thirty or so malcontents that vote purely on caprice?

that's the tragedy of the whole thing. a lot of people here do vote reasonably and do want to see arguments they may not agree with, but at a threshhold as high as yours, a small minority can ruin it. the dynamics of voting just don't work the way you think. it is not purely a matter of quality. people vote against articles for a lot of reasons, many of them bad, and the high threshhold makes their arbitrary voting extremely powerful.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Thresholds and quorums (none / 1) (#283)
by rusty on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 09:28:19 AM EST

First point -- just for my own edification, I went trolling through the stories list to see what hasn't been posted recently. I found a lot of crap, and three stories (in the last week) that may have been postable but didn't make it. None of these was controversial or divisive at all -- they seemed to have failed to make the cut by not being interesting enough for enough users. That is, we seem to have two main classes of dropped stories -- the crap, and those that are insufficiently interesting. It will be easy enough for you to just say that I'm wrong, and I can't prove I'm not. But I was mainly looking for my own information, and I was not surprised.

Ok, but to put that aside for now, it seems like what you really want to say is that we should have a different votung system, not that the threshold should just be lower. You want a system where the threshold is a number of votes to be cast (which would constitute a quorum) and the posting decision is made on percentage of +1 votes of the total.

This made me curious, so in an attempt to inject some fact into this discussion, I mined the voting data since Jan 1 2005, and put together the following table. It shows, for each submitted story, the current status of that story (in almost all cases, the final status), the total number of +1 or -1 votes (ignoring abstentions), the total number of +1 votes, and the percentage of +1 votes compared to the total of +1 and -1 votes. So, basically, we can look back and see somewhat how the current voting system compares to your proposal, with the proviso that in this table, the quorum is assumed to be whatever the total number of actual votes was. It would be conceivably possible further model your system by picking a quorum number and only counting votes that would have constituted that quorum, but I don't have the time or energy to do that at the moment.

One other note -- most of the low-percentage stories marked "Voting" are actually dumped. There's a bug in the status updating that leaves a lot of stories supposedly in voting which are in fact not.

So here's the data:


         Story                   Status  Total   +1 Percentage
 -----------------------------------------------------------
 2005/1/28/32622/4244       Front Page    102    91       89.22
 2005/1/19/35627/2443       Front Page    112    96       85.71
 2005/1/18/153331/505       Front Page    118    99       83.90
 2005/1/29/103757/255       Front Page    120   100       83.33
 2005/1/13/114947/716       Front Page    122   101       82.79
 2005/1/26/10019/4877       Front Page    132   106       80.30
 2005/1/20/142742/948       Front Page    132   106       80.30
 2005/2/5/183516/0997       Front Page    144   112       77.78
 2005/2/4/173313/6819       Front Page    146   113       77.40
 2005/1/30/173659/918       Front Page    160   120       75.00
 2005/1/24/191736/884       Front Page    186   133       71.51
 2005/1/17/23346/5048     Section Page    188   134       71.28
 2005/1/29/53946/1669           Hidden    158   111       70.25
 2005/1/21/41827/8723       Front Page    206   143       69.42
 2005/1/12/113728/490     Section Page    208   144       69.23
 2005/2/6/154059/2141       Front Page    214   147       68.69
 2005/1/28/15547/7035     Section Page    156   103       66.03
 2005/1/21/115932/697     Section Page    202   133       65.84
 2005/1/1/143719/1930     Section Page    209   135       64.59
 2005/1/5/111446/4154     Section Page    270   174       64.44
 2005/1/29/2343/88457           Hidden    210   134       63.81
 2005/1/22/13500/4359     Section Page    218   139       63.76
 2005/1/13/25325/6923     Section Page    206   131       63.59
 2005/1/21/41423/3846     Section Page    178   111       62.36
 2005/1/15/164157/019     Section Page    235   146       62.13
 2005/1/12/124442/056       Front Page    332   206       62.05
  2005/2/3/9525/78860     Section Page    174   107       61.49
 2005/2/4/173224/2972           Hidden    141    85       60.28
 2005/2/2/205244/4511     Section Page    211   126       59.72
 2005/1/19/235216/552     Section Page    250   149       59.60
 2005/2/7/161047/1869     Section Page    324   192       59.26
 2005/2/1/62636/36076     Section Page    243   142       58.44
  2005/1/5/2483/67310           Hidden     12     7       58.33
 2005/1/26/83751/1344           Hidden    204   117       57.35
 2005/2/2/43551/62693     Section Page    216   119       55.09
 2005/1/17/203951/815           Hidden    102    56       54.90
 2005/1/7/192124/2713     Section Page    261   143       54.79
 2005/2/2/18320/80373     Section Page    246   133       54.07
 2005/1/10/15335/2898           Hidden    216   116       53.70
 2004/12/31/153547/87           Hidden    120    63       52.50
 2005/1/27/124041/744           Hidden    164    85       51.83
 2005/2/3/12510/89564           Hidden    104    52       50.00
 2005/1/31/125327/070           Hidden    187    91       48.66
  2005/1/1/4514/56903           Hidden    234   107       45.73
 2005/1/10/72218/7544           Hidden    196    88       44.90
 2005/1/14/202514/560           Hidden    172    76       44.19
 2005/2/1/175338/5275           Hidden    158    69       43.67
 2005/1/27/0432/54820           Hidden    136    58       42.65
 2005/1/13/181123/593           Hidden    104    42       40.38
  2005/2/8/3832/91048           Hidden    100    40       40.00
 2005/1/7/123048/5839           Voting     95    37       38.95
 2005/1/17/12658/5485           Hidden     90    35       38.89
 2005/1/26/132313/793           Hidden     76    28       36.84
 2005/2/4/192654/5391           Hidden     72    26       36.11
 2005/1/11/121640/137           Hidden     70    25       35.71
 2004/11/11/13511/070           Hidden     70    25       35.71
 2005/1/17/43628/2442           Hidden     64    22       34.38
 2005/2/8/12248/06382           Hidden     62    21       33.87
 2005/1/17/1501/63875           Hidden      3     1       33.33
 2005/2/8/215832/9040           Voting     56    18       32.14
 2005/1/18/19455/4195           Hidden     54    17       31.48
 2004/3/9/19588/20635           Hidden     49    15       30.61
 2005/1/11/14202/2667           Hidden     50    15       30.00
 2005/1/18/20016/7413           Hidden     50    15       30.00
 2005/1/28/93735/6384           Hidden     60    18       30.00
 2005/1/20/23119/9971           Hidden     46    13       28.26
 2005/1/27/132350/910           Hidden     11     3       27.27
 2005/2/4/84424/09538           Hidden     44    12       27.27
 2005/1/3/162730/4748           Hidden     44    12       27.27
 2005/1/16/44336/1512           Hidden     44    12       27.27
 2005/2/8/224058/2498           Voting     44    12       27.27
 2005/1/21/161851/279           Hidden     42    11       26.19
 2005/1/25/181713/495           Hidden     42    11       26.19
 2005/1/1/135052/4691           Hidden     42    11       26.19
 2005/1/11/24559/2423           Hidden     42    11       26.19
 2005/1/12/184848/195           Hidden     43    11       25.58
 2005/1/10/71926/9025           Hidden     20     5       25.00
 2005/2/8/233422/5434           Hidden     38     9       23.68
 2005/1/16/45955/0022           Hidden     38     9       23.68
 2005/2/1/214635/8650           Hidden     38     9       23.68
 2005/1/27/0236/34547           Voting     36     8       22.22
 2005/1/13/173840/614           Voting     38     8       21.05
 2005/1/18/32953/5976           Voting     34     7       20.59
 2005/2/4/45716/47772           Voting     35     7       20.00
 2005/1/15/215012/325           Voting     35     7       20.00
 2005/1/31/16230/1567           Hidden     32     6       18.75
 2005/1/25/04612/5346           Hidden     32     6       18.75
 2005/1/21/22392/9496           Hidden     32     6       18.75
 2005/1/25/05619/7790           Hidden     32     6       18.75
 2005/1/3/151029/3804           Voting     33     6       18.18
 2005/1/27/13385/1081           Voting     34     6       17.65
 2005/1/3/16417/86702           Hidden      6     1       16.67
 2005/1/24/192116/805           Hidden     30     5       16.67
 2005/1/30/132732/004           Hidden      6     1       16.67
 2005/1/15/211738/941           Voting     30     5       16.67
 2005/1/16/211515/913           Hidden     30     5       16.67
 2005/1/6/175813/2894           Hidden     30     5       16.67
 2005/1/23/54159/0946           Voting     30     5       16.67
 2005/1/14/10502/4630           Hidden     30     5       16.67
 2005/1/16/16924/9684           Hidden     28     4       14.29
 2005/1/13/202243/408           Voting     30     4       13.33
 2005/1/19/34557/0848           Hidden     26     3       11.54
 2005/1/23/45840/0392           Hidden     26     3       11.54
 2005/1/20/174611/293           Hidden     26     3       11.54
 2005/1/27/74238/6232           Voting     27     3       11.11
 2005/1/9/23109/26381           Voting     28     3       10.71
 2005/1/22/221139/457           Hidden     24     2        8.33
 2005/1/7/111245/3718           Hidden     24     2        8.33
 2005/2/7/154820/2404           Hidden     24     2        8.33
 2005/1/17/122315/990           Hidden     24     2        8.33
 2005/1/24/62026/0398           Hidden     24     2        8.33
  2005/1/6/0512/70969           Hidden     24     2        8.33
 2005/2/1/65348/26643           Hidden     24     2        8.33
 2005/1/5/31618/30415           Hidden     24     2        8.33
 2005/1/13/133916/677           Hidden     20     1        5.00
  2005/2/4/9932/36030           Hidden     22     1        4.55
 2005/1/31/6146/36016           Hidden     22     1        4.55
 2005/1/17/32734/9849           Hidden     22     1        4.55
 2005/1/26/134719/030           Hidden     22     1        4.55
 2005/2/3/14165/33472           Hidden     22     1        4.55
 2005/2/1/15359/88712           Hidden     22     1        4.55
 2005/2/3/16055/38824           Voting     23     1        4.35
 2005/1/26/15510/1404           Hidden     20     0        0.00
 2005/1/27/1326/91530           Hidden     17     0        0.00
 2005/1/17/13542/3029           Hidden      2     0        0.00
 2004/12/31/17235/702           Hidden      6     0        0.00
 2005/1/10/215915/294           Hidden      7     0        0.00
 2005/1/20/205559/077           Hidden     17     0        0.00
 2005/1/27/23236/6157           Hidden     26     0        0.00
 2005/1/10/181140/197           Hidden     16     0        0.00
  2005/2/9/6556/83571          Editing      2     0        0.00
 2005/1/9/24618/26436           Hidden     20     0        0.00
 2005/2/7/152221/8816           Hidden     20     0        0.00
 2005/1/28/21712/2457           Hidden     20     0        0.00
 2005/1/3/174638/6988           Hidden      1     0        0.00
 2005/1/7/135619/9667           Hidden     20     0        0.00

As you can see, there's a fairly clear percentage breakdown deciding what goes where. The lowest posted story is 54.07%, and the lowest FP story is 62.05%. We could reasonably posit that right now, the thresholds are 50% minimum for posting and 60% to have a shot at front page. Most often, section stories are between 50%-70% and front page stories are 70% plus.

So, while there remains the question of whether imposing a quorum would drastically change the results, I think we can say that right now, the thresholds actually do conform to your proposal -- in fact they're lower than you call for. How does this change your view, if at all?

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

no, i'm afraid it doesn't. (none / 1) (#285)
by the ghost of rmg on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 10:09:25 AM EST

i actually knew that section stories could easily post around 55 or 60% via autopost, but i also knew it's a craps shoot. i just didn't want to bring that piece of information into the discussion because the issue is already complicated and there's no reason to give the other side ammunition.

what i'm concerned about is this line:

2005/1/29/53946/1669           Hidden    158   111       70.25

we rejected a story with a 70% majority. bizarre. even over sixty percent, some articles are rejected. it's unpredictable.

but my primary concern is not what it rejects but what it can't reject. when the voting system is like this where much of it is governed by chance -- i.e. the autopost (and that is chance, because you never know when i'm going to rack up fifty zeros by posting a troll with a lot of bold letters) -- it creates too much uncertainty about standards and how any given article will be received. it would be better if writers had a clearer idea of what to expect going in. when writers don't know what to expect, they aren't going to be inclined to write. and if they know that if they write something a little controversial and know the chances are they'll be rejected for "going there," you're going to see fewer submissions that push the envelope. this is the levelling effect.

also, i don't know how you put that thing together, but if you just wrote a script that you could run again, it would be interesting to know what the figures look like, say, six months ago or more. part of my argument is that recent and historical rejections have led to a lack of confidence amongst writers. we've had pretty low submission rates for the past couple months. perhaps that can be explained in terms of recent history.

above all, though, when things are easier to do, people are more willing to give it a shot. i think you can be pretty sure that if cut the threshhold significantly, people will feel more inclined to give the queue a shot. particularly if you combine the change with an announcement publicizing it and the desire for more content. and if you should decide to do such a thing, a word on voting based on writing and quality of argument as opposed to ideological reasons would be helpful too, i'm sure.

i think i'd like to see more of a potlach kind of system than what i think you're after, which is some sort of bullpen approach. this is the philosophical issue. my opinion is that you get better content when people are enjoined to do their best to bring something to the community and are greeted as benefactors. in your formulation, people are asked to submit their work for rather harsh judgement with the underlying assumption that the writer is the real beneficiary of the system, not the reader. you talk about maintaining "high standards" even if it means driving people away. there is no sense that anyone should be grateful to writers at all. quite the opposite. writers are more often insulted and badgered than praised or thanked -- and that is inherent in your system: you've created a sense of entitlement amongst the users by calling the writers the beneficiaries, and that gives readers license to be as rude and arbitrary in their behavior as they like.

my sense is that you should create an environment that welcomes the writer and minimizes the effect of a minority of loudmouthed jackasses (if i were you, i'd ban their asses, but that's just me). the onus is on the community to do right by those who provide content, not the other way around. it is not some wonderful gift to allow someone's writing to be published on the internet anymore. you can get that anywhere for free. what i advocate above all these technical changes is a change in priorities and attitudes. these are the most important factors.

well, i'm rambling. that's enough for now.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

I didn't think it would (3.00 / 2) (#286)
by rusty on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 10:28:00 AM EST

Of course, I didn't care that much whether you changed your mind. That was mainly for the benefit of those deciding whether to agree with you or not.

That 70% outlier was kpaul's "A9: Run up and down the street" article. It was auto-dumped due to an unusually low number of comments. Some people thought it was good, some didn't, but no one had anything much to say about it. Autopost considers this a drawback. In this way, as well, autopost conforms better to your argument than you seem to think. There's a real penalty for a story to be boring. Even a story where a large number of comments argue against to it is likely to benefit just from the fact that argument is taking place.

Incidentally, the other outlier, the 54.07% section page story, is "Is it time to let the Pope die?" A story auto-posted with an overall score of just 20, due primarily to the quality of discussion and controversy it created.

The second-lowest posted story there, with 54.79%, was Nuke@Home, which many people thought was funny, and almost as many thought was stupid. Again, autoposted with a score of 25.

I think your points about the voting system and threshold are based on mistaken assumptions and a lack of facts. If you'd like to prove them, you're welcome to keep track of stories in the queue and their eventual disposition. Or, even better, put your ideas into practice and start a site that beats K5 at our own game. It'll be a lot of fun if it works.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

well, i'd like to offer a more fact laden argument (none / 0) (#287)
by the ghost of rmg on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 10:40:48 AM EST

but my information is from my own observations, which i trust, but no one else does. it was nice of you to make the table though. i found it very interesting.

i would love to beat k5 at its own game, but i am not big on democracy. my site would be more like adequacy than kuro5hin. it would be trivial to beat this site at its own game though. just setup a scoop site with hulver's version of scoop, advertise on slashdot, and have a lot of editors that ban crapflooders and other undesirables. very easy. anyway, i have a lot of online enemies, which would make the whole project more complicated. and it would bore the bejesus out of me. the only reason i want more people is because this is my favorite place to troll and trolling a ghost town is boring.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

oh, and another thing, (none / 0) (#325)
by the ghost of rmg on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 07:25:57 PM EST

since i think almost everyone agrees that it's a travesty so many articles are deleted with all of their content attached, why not, if you decide to take the everything on the front page suggestion, add an additional kind of -1 vote: -1, with prejudice. it could be used against crapflooding. stories getting a large number of -1s with prejudice are hidden completely, the rest hang around in limbo the way stories that stay in "voting" status after being voted down do (you know, the -21 race condition bug you mentioned).

it'd be a good thing, i assure you.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Transparency (none / 0) (#298)
by anno1602 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 02:02:44 PM EST

First of all, it seems obvious that the end result of changing the voting system would not result in much changes regarding stories surviving voting or not. And, besides, I would like to argue that popular stories such as 2005/1/29/53946/1669 Hidden 158 111 70.25 2005/1/29/2343/88457 Hidden 210 134 63.81 2005/2/4/173224/2972 Hidden 141 85 60.28 should be posted. Even though they may not entice much discussion, which seems to be the main reason for them not to be posted, they might be an interesting read. This kind of story, while they should not be the regular k5 fare, can be good addition. The real reason for a change in the voting system is something else entirely: Transparency. Currently, the auto-posting thing is a mythical entity that somehow decides whether a story is posted or not (if the story times out in the queue, which seems to be the case quite frequently). Also, the effect of a fixed treshhold on a varying number of +/- votes are a bit nebulous. Much clearer would be the following: A story gets posted (to frontpage, since we are abandoning sections) if it has gotten 100 votes and at least 50% are in favor of the story ("Abstain" doesn't count) within 36 hours. If the 100-votes-quorum is not reached after 36 hours, 60% approval (the current FP-treshhold) of the votes cast until then are necessary for the story to be posted. I think that such a system would be much more easily understood and could lay to rest much of the current discussions about whether voting works or not.
--
"Where you stand on an issue depends on where you sit." - Murphy
[ Parent ]
Easier-to-read version (sorry, I goofed) (none / 0) (#299)
by anno1602 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 02:04:58 PM EST

First of all, it seems obvious that the end result of changing the voting system would not result in much changes regarding stories surviving voting or not. And, besides, I would like to argue that popular stories such as

2005/1/29/53946/1669 Hidden 158 111 70.25
2005/1/29/2343/88457 Hidden 210 134 63.81
2005/2/4/173224/2972 Hidden 141 85 60.28

should be posted. Even though they may not entice much discussion, which seems to be the main reason for them not to be posted, they might be an interesting read. This kind of story, while they should not be the regular k5 fare, can be good addition.

The real reason for a change in the voting system is something else entirely: Transparency. Currently, the auto-posting thing is a mythical entity that somehow decides whether a story is posted or not (if the story times out in the queue, which seems to be the case quite frequently). Also, the effect of a fixed treshhold on a varying number of +/- votes are a bit nebulous. Much clearer would be the following: A story gets posted (to frontpage, since we are abandoning sections) if it has gotten 100 votes and at least 50% are in favor of the story ("Abstain" doesn't count) within 36 hours. If the 100-votes-quorum is not reached after 36 hours, 60% approval (the current FP-treshhold) of the votes cast until then are necessary for the story to be posted.

I think that such a system would be much more easily understood and could lay to rest much of the current discussions about whether voting works or not.
--
"Where you stand on an issue depends on where you sit." - Murphy
[ Parent ]

Tags sound like a /bad/ idea (none / 1) (#278)
by wiredog on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:27:44 AM EST

What's the difference, really, between your idea and the old metatags that so many sites and authors abused to the point that no one pays attention to them anymore?

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Huge difference (none / 0) (#293)
by mikepence on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 01:20:05 PM EST

Users tagging stories has nothing to do with meta tags.

[ Parent ]
Just as spammable though (none / 0) (#295)
by wiredog on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 01:35:14 PM EST

Forcing Rusty and His Legion of Fascist Editors to add yet more layers of anti-troll armor to the system. Easier to do without the tags.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
As Axl Rose said, (none / 0) (#297)
by mikepence on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 01:54:17 PM EST

"every rose has its thorns." This can be dealt with. I welcome people abusing this site -- it causes the admins to get rid of them sooner.

[ Parent ]
Tags (none / 1) (#291)
by mikepence on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 01:01:32 PM EST

were first suggested on this site back on December 9th. It is a damn good idea and it will significantly increase the reading of older stories.

This will raise two problems. Users who find older stories via tag searches will want to comment on them -- imagine their frustration and confusion toward a new-comment-disabled archived story. Secondly, we need a way to see these older stories with new comments -- perhaps via a system-updated tag like "newly-commented-stories".

Like Delicious, we could have a system-updated 'popular' tag to bring to the front those stories that have been most popular (most read) in the last n hours or days.

(I'd even be willing to learn Perl to help out with this. I'm already proficient in at least a half-dozen or so other languages. Not that I have much free time, but this is a worthwhile effort.)

[ Parent ]

I'd like to see stories with recent comments (none / 0) (#307)
by janra on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:26:29 PM EST

If we get rid of the fp/section-only distinction, that would be a good thing to put in place of the section stories box - stories ordered by the date of their most recent comments.

Of course, I don't know how hard on the database that would be, as the comments table is several orders of magnitude bigger than the stories table... but I think it's worth looking into
--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]

Easy (none / 1) (#315)
by mikepence on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 05:02:45 PM EST

Every time a comment is posted to a story, insert a row into the latest_comments table with a story_id and timestamp. Open the table, put the top n into a list in the box. Done.

Of course, I have not worked with Scoop. It seems to me that Java offers way more options in terms of API's for web development that are easily extensible...

...but is the problem Scoop/Perl or the fact that Rusty, with all due respect, never seems to get off his ass and improve this site?

[ Parent ]

oh easy enough (none / 0) (#316)
by janra on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 05:23:49 PM EST

I'm just not sure how it would scale :-)

As for your java comment, I'm not sure how it relates. The problems Scoop/k5 has with scaling are all related to the database (no db religious flamewars, please, I'm not interested), as the majority of the time Scoop takes to create and send a page is spent waiting for the database. Somehow I suspect the same would be true of java.
--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]

Sure (none / 0) (#330)
by mikepence on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 10:48:00 PM EST

That is always the case with db apps. Java libraries like Hibernate do a lot of very smart caching and there are some performance benefits depedning on how it is implemented.

I bet Scoop could be a lot smarter about caching objects and not doing needless db writes.

Religious db wars aside, Oracle eats PostgreSQL and MySQL for lunch.

[ Parent ]

My 2 C (none / 1) (#270)
by isaac r on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:46:19 AM EST

Because of the huge quantisation error that occurs when people vote on a story the choices are basically nay, meh, yay and yay plus. 4 different options.

If you want to calculate how good a story is as best as possible, then you have to use the best measurements you can get, but have it easy enough for people to understand the meaning. A simple 1 to 10 scale would suffice, and people would be able to give more precise assessments of article value.

THIS ACCOUNT HAS BEEN DISABLED

You know (3.00 / 3) (#288)
by sllort on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 11:02:05 AM EST

I'm like Oedipus now, my eyes already gouged out, and I can't bleed anymore. So I'll just mumble this again.

Mandate one new front page story every day. Allow only one type of vote: "I approve". The story with the most approval votes (i.e. the most popular story) at the end of the day makes the front page the next day. Then, flush the queue.

It ends -1 voting and all the negativity that brings with it. It mandates fresh content. Look how well the approval-voting diary function works at Kos, that steaming crappile of groupthink. Look how well it works at Fark.

Whatever.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.

an update on current troll thought. (none / 0) (#290)
by the ghost of rmg on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 11:26:10 AM EST

it's not groupthink, it's dissimulation. in an environment like the dailykos, people say things they don't really completely believe because they are worried about being shouted or modded down. additionally, people who would otherwise object are cowed into complicity by the same threat.

this formulation has the advantage of being both more offensive and more accurate.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Kos is a pile of dufflepuds /nt (none / 0) (#300)
by jongleur on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 02:06:11 PM EST


--
"If you can't imagine a better way let silence bury you" - Midnight Oil
[ Parent ]
not exactly (3.00 / 4) (#304)
by Battle Troll on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 02:43:00 PM EST

DKos is a place for people to talk about practical politics, k5 is a place for bloody idiots to jizz on their screens. I don't much like the atmosphere at dKos, and I don't much like the Kossacks, but they've had a hell of a lot more impact on politics than k5 ever will. The Kossacks raised buckets of money for the Democrats this past election; k5 is the kind of place where Fancy Lad's [or whatever his name is] Annunaki Lizard/WTC story made front page as a politics article. I mean, get a grip.

If you think that the political discourse here is better or (infinitely more to the point) more potent than that at dKos, you are suffering from megalomanic delusions of grandeur. This place is less politically influential than a Counterstrike irc channel.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Last I heard... (none / 1) (#311)
by skyknight on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:37:53 PM EST

all of the candidates they supported failed to get elected.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
heh (none / 0) (#319)
by Battle Troll on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:10:32 PM EST

Granted. It's still influence.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Sure... (none / 0) (#331)
by skyknight on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 03:55:04 AM EST

and by the same token, I exert an influence on the orbit of the moon. :-)

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
seriously, man (none / 0) (#334)
by Battle Troll on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 07:59:56 AM EST

It's not like those candidates lost solely because dKos supported them. I thought you were supposed to be the empiricist here.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure how you drew that conclusion. (none / 0) (#335)
by skyknight on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 08:04:47 AM EST

I was merely citing the fact that dKos would seem to have put their muscle behind a bunch of losers. It's just particularly amusing that all of their candidates lost. It's more amusement to me than any real scientific result. Really, though, I don't even know who it is that they supported, and don't much care. I was so filled with contempt for politics by the time the election rolled around that I didn't even show up to vote.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
i think he assumed (none / 0) (#342)
by the ghost of rmg on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 03:30:11 PM EST

that you were engaging the ideas on the table and attempting to address him in an intelligent manner.

of course, he knows better and it was his mistake to expect such a thing in this forum. i sometimes make the same mistake.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

They don't tolerate disagreement, even in minor (none / 0) (#320)
by jongleur on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:58:30 PM EST

things. Some guy posted, and was a Lefty but just disliked Clinton, and got called a troll by several people. I posted a comment with some facts, and got zeroed.

Plus, because everyone's nice unless you disagree, half the comments are inane. I don't deny its power in the large and the many smart, knowledgeable people, only the culture among the bulk.
--
"If you can't imagine a better way let silence bury you" - Midnight Oil
[ Parent ]

Two Words: (none / 0) (#321)
by skyknight on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 07:01:26 PM EST

Incestuous Amplification

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
kuro5hin in a word: (none / 0) (#323)
by the ghost of rmg on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 07:17:15 PM EST

circletimessquare.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
You know what I've noticed... (none / 0) (#324)
by skyknight on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 07:23:19 PM EST

CircleTimesSquare has the acronym CTS, which could just as well be the acronym for Carpel Tunnel Syndrome.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
wow, that's a really interesting observation. (none / 0) (#326)
by the ghost of rmg on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 07:27:06 PM EST

thanks for that.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
I figure... (none / 0) (#328)
by skyknight on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:28:36 PM EST

that given the sheer volume that he writes, and the apparently frantic fashion in which he crafts his literary spooge, the guy must have been through several surgeries by now for his wrists.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
i would think his style of typing (none / 0) (#329)
by the ghost of rmg on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:36:37 PM EST

would be particularly ergonomic, but that's neither here nor there.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
Why is that? (none / 0) (#332)
by skyknight on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 03:55:41 AM EST

Because he takes a break after every sentence to open a couple of new lines?

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Also (none / 1) (#354)
by whazat on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 08:51:59 AM EST

Not pressing the shift button. Saves on key presses.

[ Parent ]
What you said /nt (none / 0) (#347)
by jongleur on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 06:51:50 PM EST


--
"If you can't imagine a better way let silence bury you" - Midnight Oil
[ Parent ]
(Ok so much less than half) (none / 0) (#349)
by jongleur on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 08:44:35 PM EST

For the record the diaries I've read recently are much less than half inanity, barely any at all. But I have seen threads that gave me that impression.
--
"If you can't imagine a better way let silence bury you" - Midnight Oil
[ Parent ]
this is an important point. (none / 0) (#322)
by the ghost of rmg on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 07:15:21 PM EST

kossacks, particularly the ones that come out in arguments, are intelligent, educated, and relatively articulate. the analogous kuro5hin users profoundly are not.

kos correctly recognizes that without tightly enforced community standards, sites like our fair kuro5hin are the inevitable result. while i think he pulls the reigns too tight, there is no denying the power and quality of what he's created.

the fact that people here can dismiss the daily kos as mere groupthink just speaks to the nihilism of the userbase.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

You've got it wrong (none / 0) (#366)
by sllort on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 06:07:15 PM EST

I don't dismiss dKos as groupthink. I exhort it as groupthink. I have yet to see any site escape what I call groupthink - rather I think it's all about how you channel dissent, and how you treat your dissidents.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
yeah, that may be so. (3.00 / 2) (#367)
by the ghost of rmg on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 06:29:48 PM EST

i would disagree on the groupthink thing in concept, but i think i know what you're getting at. clearly, there's a balance to be struck between allowing absolutely anything and completely stifling "dissent."

it's a surprisingly complex issue and requires a lot of social intuition. ironically, trolling attunes one to the issues that are at the core of the matter, while at the same time discrediting one in the eyes of those who need to be convinced. i mean, it's like rain... on your wedding day.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

3 buttons... (none / 0) (#310)
by Armada on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:37:14 PM EST

Post, Hold, Ditch.

Use your idea, but instead of approve or not, it determines if a new item should be held and brought up again the next day.

If there are more hold votes than ditch at the end of the day, it stays in the queue and isn't flushed. The post count only determines who gets post to FP that day.

This also has the added effect of conserving "Post" votes if there are clearly better stories in the queue as a "Post" vote will not count towards keeping the story.

Basically, someone who is rejected can feel free to try again, but will hopefully have an idea of what it is they need to do to improve the story.

[ Parent ]

Frontpage = misleading (2.50 / 2) (#303)
by kensho on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 02:16:12 PM EST

On the front page it says:

"Front Page: The best stories of the day, chosen by you."

Doesn't "of the day" imply at least one new front page entry every day assuming there is at least one story submitted per day.

Exactly. (none / 0) (#353)
by mahju on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 07:25:22 AM EST

I was about to make that point myself.

When this first popped up on the front page I thought the guy had a fair, but maybe overstated point.  Now Its Friday morning, it was posted Tuesday morning, and its still the lead story on the Daily front page.

I've been using K5 for around 5 years, and I like the fact that the front page isn't a constant stream of off-the-cuff stuff, but I do want to be able to flick to the front page each morning over a coffee and see something new... at least one "best story".

Would it be possible for the threshold to be auto-adjusted a little to react to a quiet front page?  For instance, if if no front page articles get through in a 24 hour period, drop the threshold down from 80 to 70? If there's none for another 24 hours drop it a little more.  That way at least there is something new on the front each day...  Thoughts?

[ Parent ]

my thoughts: (none / 0) (#357)
by the ghost of rmg on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 11:46:09 AM EST

rusty wasn't clever enough to implement the correct voting system when he first coded this thing. (after all, who in their right mind would think the threshhold idea even makes sense, much less that it is a good idea?) he wasn't clever enough or just didn't care enough about the site to stop the crapflooders, who remain here to this day. he can't even get a module off CPAN to implement a working comment searching feature.

given all this, what possible reason or precedent could we have that would suggest rusty will code anything at all no matter how good an idea it is? how can you expect someone who won't even flip some switches on his web enable admin page to actually go and code a whole new part of the voting system?

it's just not going to happen.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Thinking outside the box (2.62 / 8) (#313)
by pHatidic on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:59:32 PM EST

What if only people who have had at least one article published can vote? That would:

A) Prevent (most) trolls from voting on the articles
B) Ensure that the voters were reasonably literate
C) Encourage people to write more stories, because people would want voting priveledges
D) It would make RMG feel super special

This certainly has the drawback... (none / 0) (#333)
by skyknight on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 03:57:10 AM EST

that it would disenfranchise people who are not inclined to be writers, but enjoy participating at a low level, but probably the trade off would be worth it, and it might encourage the lurkers to come into the fold.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
That's not the only drawback (none / 1) (#338)
by janra on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 01:33:26 PM EST

As with comment ratings leading to extra privileges, it's a system that can be easily gamed.

It's not that hard for self-described trolls to get an article posted. I mean, if they're successful, they can get people to believe them in either comment or article...

I've become a lot less trusting of automated privilege systems through watching k5. They're just too easy to take advantage of.

--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]

Yeah, probably... (none / 1) (#339)
by skyknight on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 02:19:52 PM EST

It's dubious that any purely automated privilege system will be much good until we can get AI to perform solid natural language parsing and psychological analysis. Still, though... There is no such thing as a perfect security system, but yet that does not mean that you shouldn't try anything.

As with any good security system, you need prevention, detection, and response. I think that the above described method could serve as a decent albeit imperfect preventive method. Detection would be having administrators still keeping an eye on thing. Response would involve having users revoke the earned privileges of those who are abusing their trust. Designing systems with all three components present is the only way to go about securing something, and bemoaning the fact that perfect prevention is not possible is invalid.

The preventive system would greatly reduce the strain on the administrators that comes from manually fixing things by reducing the incidence rate, and having the administrators around would ameliorate the imperfections of the automated preventive system.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
excellent points (none / 1) (#341)
by janra on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 03:28:54 PM EST

Up to now, Scoop has been designed to be as automated as possible, possibly because of rusty's experiment in self-sustaining democratic web communities...

Witness the story queue (unique as far as I know), and mojo and trusted user status. Both were conceived as ways for the userbase to police itself and the content it produces, reward good content and good behaviour and punish bad.

Witness, also, the complete lack of user management tools for the admins - there is no way (short of going directly into the database) of listing users by IP or email, or searching on any number of parameters, or even of changing multiple users at once - they must be changed individually when something brings that one user to the attention of the admin. (I'm planning a user management tool, but haven't started it yet. Still working out what all it needs to do.)

As far as the specifics go, I'd be more inclined to try a time-based system first - trolls will still be able to make sock-puppet accounts, but it'll take longer before they can be used. Makes them more expensive. There are quite a few people who vote sensibly (and by sensible I only mean not voting up 'W tests' and other obvious garbage) who have no desire to write more than comments, if even that, and I wouldn't want to exclude them. The percentage of commenters to readers is always very low, and the percentage of story posters to commenters is similarly low.

At any rate, I am interested in ways to improve Scoop. I'm just not always that easy to convince that something would be an improvement :-)
--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]

a way to improve scoop: (none / 0) (#343)
by the ghost of rmg on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 03:33:58 PM EST

make a fork of the drupal project and call it scoop.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
Yeah (none / 0) (#344)
by pHatidic on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 03:51:25 PM EST

I'm not claiming the system would be perfect, it would not. But I do think that by excluding the users who haven't written an article kuro5hin would get better. And I think that any new system should be judged on whether it's better or worse than the current system, not on whether or not it's a perfect solution.

[ Parent ]
Torn (none / 0) (#345)
by Pelorat on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 04:31:44 PM EST

Between whether I would finally write an article to be able to continue voting and posting, or just move on.

I guess I'll find out if it ever gets implemented =)

[ Parent ]

Not that bad (none / 0) (#346)
by pHatidic on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 04:52:54 PM EST

You could still post, just not vote.

[ Parent ]
I think that... (none / 0) (#368)
by skyknight on Sat Feb 12, 2005 at 07:17:30 AM EST

it would be very interesting to try to model trouble makers statistically in some way or other, allowing gradually for automated detection, and using admins as a verification and fall back mechanism. I don't know what would necessarily be good parameters, but that's the idea... Just enumerate all of the parameters you can fathom, and then do some data mining to extract useful correlations.

When an admin manually detects a trouble maker, he can flag him, and sick the data mining tools on his posting habits, using him as training data. If the automated system flags a trouble maker, an admin should examine the case, and then either confirm or refute the results. The automated system could further use this information for training purposes. Over time the data model would hopefully converge on something useful.

About the rating system... There is something fundamentally broken about it that makes it virtually useless. Specifically, it is too shallow. You need such a system to embody a web of trust, because otherwise mod-bombing is far too easy. You will not have a useful system if determining trustfulness of a user rests solely on tabulating his cumulative ratings. You must also take into account the trustworthiness of the people who gave him those ratings, and those people's trustworthiness must be similarly calculated. This wouldn't be easy, but it is necessary for a rating system to be anything other than garbage.

I've actually been thinking a lot about how to manage the problems inherent in anonymous forums whilst maintaining anonymity. I even invented a two-tiered blind RSA signature protocol for rationing digital pseudonyms to one per person.

In any case, a truly self-sustaining community needs way more machinery than Scoop has to offer. We need mechanisms that embody the way that trust relationships are formed in the real world. Without them, we have a pressure cooker of all the bad traits of humanity and not nearly enough of the good ones. Failure is wholly unsurprising.

I'd be happy to discuss this topic at much greater length. I find the problem domain endlessly fascinating.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
oh god... (none / 0) (#369)
by the ghost of rmg on Sat Feb 12, 2005 at 10:49:25 AM EST

look, you know a trouble maker after he makes his first post. you see it, you click a button, and he's gone. you don't need a fucking neural network to help you do this.

see this is the problem with you people. you want to make everything into a god damned game of tron. the system doesn't need to be more complicated, it just needs to be managed properly.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

That's just not true. (none / 0) (#373)
by skyknight on Sun Feb 13, 2005 at 06:48:26 PM EST

No, you don't need some kind of natural language processing psychoanalyzing strong AI whizbang to tell when someone writes a shithead comment. However, there are lots of more subtle ways to abuse the system, particularly with voting and rating. Mind you, the rating abuses don't really matter currently, seeing as the rating system is utterly useless, but if there were a point to rating, it'd be good not to have it abused, and certainly it's bad news to have story voting abused.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
god damn, you're useless! (none / 0) (#375)
by the ghost of rmg on Sun Feb 13, 2005 at 09:53:54 PM EST

see, this is almost as bad as what rusty does -- i.e. nothing.

"well, let's think of a way to automate a painfully simple process that really requires human oversight anyway. that way we can sit here and think instead of actually do something. oh yeah, and what about these other potential problems that haven't yet been perceptible but could show up at anytime? shouldn't we be considering them first?"

jesus christ. the step needed to fix this site are so god damned simple and yet all we have is piddling around doing nothing from rusty and bullshit philosophizing from everyone else.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Why would it be so heinous... (none / 0) (#376)
by skyknight on Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 08:22:22 AM EST

to have scripts that monitored sudden spates of mod-bombing, or made note of a horde of nullos voting up a story? I don't understand why you're so hostile to all of this. I appreciate your concerns about over-engineering a solution, but your response to that fear is to utterly eschew any kind of technological aids. I think that there is room for some kind of moderate approach. I don't dispute that you need humans to ultimately be the janitors, but I think that their effectiveness could be greatly enhanced with shrewd emplacement of software tools. As janra mentioned, Scoop doesn't even have an interface for dealing with troublesome users; you have to go straight to the database command line and start issuing deletes.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
it's very simple. (none / 0) (#377)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 08:54:53 AM EST

something should be done immediately. writing scripts only provides an excuse. it creates a false need to do something that will never get done before real action can be taken.

look, if rusty can't write user deletion interfaces, why on earth do you think he can write scripts to detect modbombing and such?


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

I agree that... (none / 0) (#378)
by skyknight on Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 10:13:41 AM EST

there are things that need to be done immediately. The writing of automated tools should take second fiddle to that, but that doesn't mean that we can't think about both, at least insofar as the latter does not impede progress with the former.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
it's pretty clear that talking about scripts (none / 0) (#379)
by Battle Troll on Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 10:38:54 AM EST

Is a distraction from the real point: pressing Rusty to do his job (as CMF maven.)
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Hm. (none / 0) (#380)
by skyknight on Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 11:13:07 AM EST

I thought it was pretty clear that Rusty had abdicated those responsibilities a long time ago. There is no longer any mention of a CMF. I think that it's an embarrassment that Rusty would like to forget, and is hoping that we will, too. We have no formal and legal service contract with Rusty and Scoop, and thus it's hard to make a case for that to which we are entitled.

Not so long ago I lost several thousand dollars in a business venture because I made the same mistake. I assumed that the person with whom I was working was trustworthy, that he would behave in an aboveboard and reputable fashion, and as such I didn't trouble myself with explicit agreements and requirements. It was all tacit agreement based on kinship. That was a huge mistake, and I'm glad in hindsight that I learned such a valuable lesson for what I suppose was a relatively small amount of money compared to what can be lost in a business venture. I'm considering the whole affair business tuition, and the main lesson being that you should never pony up the money until you have gotten legally enforceable contracts put in place. Once you've handed over your money, you are basically held hostage by it, and your leverage is gone.

The people who have donated money to the CMF, myself included, have made the same mistake that I did by investing in the aforementioned business venture when I neglected to get formal agreements as to what I was receiving in exchange for my funding.

We can't even get decent request latency from the database. What makes you think that consistent crapflooder squelching is in the offing? Rusty has a baby, and wants to move on with his life, putting K5 behind him. Thus we have our present state.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
the quintessential rusty: (none / 0) (#381)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 12:28:25 PM EST

on one hand, he doesn't want to have to deal with kuro5hin anymore. on the other hand, he cannot bring himself to put it in the care of someone else.

what we have here is the unusual combination of lazy ass and control freak. most lazy asses don't care one way or another how things do or don't get done. most control freaks are obsessed with how things get done, but in the end they ultimately endeavor to get those things done, even if only in their own way.

with rusty, we have someone who won't do anything and at the same time insists that things are done his way. the result is that while a majority of those involved with a site he created (which, ironically, he calls an experiment in democracy) want to see the site improve and many even offer to help, he rejects their advice and offers of assistance because, damn it, it's his site! (which, again ironically, is exactly what it's billed as not being -- he's even made that explicit in past commentary.)

the amazing thing is that it would be incredibly easy to live up to the expectations people have for him. he could appoint some editors (he only has three active ones right now). revamp the system a little bit. get rid of crapflooding. all of these things, with a little help, are very easy. people would love him again the way they do hulver.

but oh no no! it's gotta be rusty's way. and rusty's way is doin' nothin'.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

K5 really isn't a democracy at all... (none / 0) (#382)
by skyknight on Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 12:50:55 PM EST

It has a story queue where you vote on what does and doesn't get posted, and the parameters for how the votes are tallied are completely beyond our control. Real democracies have some kind of constitutional mechanisms or ballot initiatives via which changes to the system can be made, but all we have is a dictator who states on what and how we are allowed to vote. What if I wanted to vote for new editors? What if I wanted to vote to amend how story voting is done? I have no clout to bring this about, and nor does anybody else. As such, I find the suggestion that K5 is an experiment in democracy to be somewhat farcical. Rather, it's an experiment in a very specific voting system that is completely sclerotic. Our "democracy" is completely incapable of evolution, and that is why it is broken.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
yeah, sure (none / 1) (#383)
by Battle Troll on Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 01:31:16 PM EST

So you're agreeing that the problem with k5 isn't that it lacks AI modbomb detection?
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
K5's problems are complicated... (none / 0) (#385)
by skyknight on Tue Feb 15, 2005 at 10:20:43 AM EST

The fact that K5's moderation is presently neutered is the result of all its previous incarnations being woefully susceptible to gaming. As such, it could never be a functional self-regulating device. The root problem, though, is that Rusty doesn't want to deal with K5 anymore.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
well, exactly (none / 0) (#386)
by Battle Troll on Tue Feb 15, 2005 at 10:53:03 AM EST

Which is why discussing AI modbombing is completely irrelevant to fixing k5. Establishing someone like rmg (or skyknight, or Battle Troll, for that matter,) as an editor would do far more to fix the problem.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Well, (none / 0) (#387)
by skyknight on Tue Feb 15, 2005 at 11:56:39 AM EST

I think that the first thing to do would be to get a good editor base, but I don't think that it has to be a mutually exclusive arrangement.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
not mutually exclusive... (none / 0) (#388)
by Battle Troll on Tue Feb 15, 2005 at 12:47:12 PM EST

But rusty loves for people to get sidetracked on technical projects. k5's problems are essentially political.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Alright, then... (none / 0) (#389)
by skyknight on Tue Feb 15, 2005 at 12:48:50 PM EST

Skyknight and Battle Troll for editors!

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
i wonder if a letter campaign would help. (none / 0) (#390)
by the ghost of rmg on Tue Feb 15, 2005 at 03:25:47 PM EST

i mean, it seems to me that rusty is only interested in letting his irc buddies edit (hence pwhysall), but i have to think pressure from the userbase would have some effect.



rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
Post a story to the queue? (none / 0) (#391)
by skyknight on Tue Feb 15, 2005 at 03:44:32 PM EST

Use it to nominate and vote on potential editors?

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
threshhold is too high. (none / 0) (#392)
by the ghost of rmg on Tue Feb 15, 2005 at 03:50:16 PM EST

the crapflooders would vote it down with the help of the "-1, meta" idiots.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
Catch-22 /nt (none / 0) (#393)
by skyknight on Tue Feb 15, 2005 at 04:02:31 PM EST



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
almost :-) (none / 0) (#384)
by janra on Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 08:18:04 PM EST

As janra mentioned, Scoop doesn't even have an interface for dealing with troublesome users

for dealing with them en masse, no. For dealing with them individually, yes. Users can be anonymized with their content left intact, anonymized with all their content deleted, have their ratings reversed, have various privileges removed - admins can do pretty much anything to an account, but only one user at a time.
--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]

Hmmm (none / 1) (#340)
by pHatidic on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 02:28:08 PM EST

Users who did not have the vote could of course still read the stories while they were in the queue and make comments.

Also I still think it would be difficult for most trolls to get their articles posted. There would be a few trolls who could vote still, but it wouldn't be nearly as bad as now where they can make a new dupe account every five minutes. Under my scenario there would be an incentive for good behaviour because you wouldn't want your account banned.

[ Parent ]

Sockpuppets (none / 0) (#405)
by esrever on Mon May 09, 2005 at 06:50:02 PM EST

are, however eliminated; which is rather the point.

Audit NTFS permissions on Windows
[ Parent ]
My 2 cents (2.25 / 4) (#314)
by zerocommazero on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 04:05:13 PM EST

I've been a K5 reader for about a year. I rarely post and have never written a story. I also usually drop by on my lunch break. I'm probably in that 75 percentile of casual readers. In the past 3 months I've visited the site less and less. My waning interest is attributed to the lack of stories for one. I think there was a time in January where there wasn't a new front page story for almost 2 weeks. I've perused the section lists and their isn't alot of changing content there either although certainly more than the Front Page. It seems as if alot of your creative writers are MIA. In fact it seems that after the election and all the stories about it on this site a majority of people just up and left. I've even become a /. fan as of recently, looking for other entertainment. The quality of stories has definitely dropped in comparison to what the front page was like when i was first drawn to this site.
"I have a few truths for the men in this audience. It's your fault for all the violence in this country and it's your fault for all the crime in this country."-Peter Griffin at the Million Man March
alterslash (3.00 / 2) (#336)
by mahju on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 10:29:13 AM EST

If you're headed over to slash for a read, its worth looking at alterslash.org which is a digest of slashdot.  I use it more often than slash.  No ads, and also has stories plus high rating comments all on one page.  Oh and its a lot prettier and discrete than geek green.

[ Parent ]
If it helps (none / 0) (#394)
by Bossk on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 10:04:58 PM EST

moderate submissions. There's plenty of high traffic junk in there.

[ Parent ]
This is ridiculous. (1.75 / 8) (#317)
by gloin on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 05:35:02 PM EST

This is ridiculous. Absurd, even. The problem at kuro5hin has always been that too much crap gets posted, both to section and to the front page, and that rational political argument is drowned out by the frothing at the mouth of deranged leftists. Why would you want to amplify their platform?

If Kuro5hin is dying, it is because the free market has determined that it should die; and for you to whine that the market is making the wrong choice is to betray yourself for the Stalinist that you are.

Let the internet be free.

Hey... (none / 0) (#327)
by dejohn on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 07:56:36 PM EST

Even the free market has controls. Federal reserve board? Congressinal economic packages? Maybe some tweaks need to be made here. Maybe the "free market" isn't being heard through the artificial man made -10 limit? Eh? How about that?

[ Parent ]
No government regulator would (none / 0) (#352)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 07:13:43 AM EST

permit the amount of crap that floods k5.

I never said that.
[ Parent ]
What is free about K5? (none / 0) (#401)
by skyknight on Fri Feb 25, 2005 at 07:18:20 AM EST

Are we, the users, free to set policy about how voting is performed? Nay, we are serfs in an autocracy, granted voting rights at the discretion of a dictator, albeit a somewhat benevolent one, though not always.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Dude... (none / 0) (#402)
by thelizman on Fri Feb 25, 2005 at 04:41:29 PM EST

...keep talking like that, you're making me hot.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
all i can say is (none / 0) (#350)
by soros on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 01:52:33 AM EST

I'm fairly new to kuro5hin, maybe a few months I've been registered.  I have no idea how the moderation system works here... what does (1/4) or (2.15/13) mean ?  It's not exactly intuitive..

What is this sections stuff ? Where are 'other' stories hiding.. apparently there's some stuff not on the main page waiting to get there ?

Maybe k5 should make things a little friendlier around here for newbies, or people like myself that dont feel like reading 12 pages of FAQ's just to figure out how things work here.

how things work (none / 1) (#351)
by janra on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 02:22:57 AM EST

well, the FAQs are a bit long, but they do cover a lot more than I can in a little comment...

But to answer your specific questions:

what does (1/4) or (2.15/13) mean?

That, beside a comment subject, is the score that a comment has been given by other members. The first number is the average of all the ratings, the second number is the total number of people who rated it. You can click the number to see a list of who rated a comment and how. The scale is 0-3; any comments with scores below one cannot be seen by people without accounts (hidden comments). You can rate comments too; right beside the "Reply to this" link at the bottom of every comment is a form you can use to indicate what you think of the comment.

What is this sections stuff?

Sections are one of two ways stories are categorized; the other is topic (represented by the image attached to each story.

Stories are voted on by members via the "Moderate Submissions" link in their user menu. The three numbers beside that link indicate how many stories are awaiting your vote, how many are awaiting editorial feedback and are still being worked on, and how many stories there are total. Stories can, when posted, be posted to either the front page or the section only; only front page stories are seen when you go to kuro5hin's main page, the section-only stories are relegated to the "Section Stories" list to the left or the "Everything" page (link just under the logo).
--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]

I can't help but notice... (2.40 / 5) (#355)
by Drog on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 09:56:05 AM EST

...that the last frontpage story was this one, posted four days ago.

Looking for political forums? Check out "The World Forum". News feed available here on K5.
that's what's so funny about the whole thing. (none / 1) (#356)
by the ghost of rmg on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 11:39:29 AM EST

while janra continues to pontificate about how wrong i am and while rusty even says the ideas have merit, nothing will be done about it. the situation will persist indefinitely, even though it would be trivial for rusty to make the changes.

that is why kuro5hin is where it is today.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Yeah... (none / 0) (#364)
by Drog on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 03:08:59 PM EST

I think there's definitely a balance between quality and quantity, and on my young struggling website quantity is currently more important than quality because not only do I post timely news stories, but I'm also trying to build up a community of users. Not that I don't care about quality, but I have to keep it in perspective and just get the stories written in whatever little amount of time I have, since nobody else is really posting stories yet.

But in an already established community like K5--one which does not usually post timely news stories but rather essays--the collective opinion may be that quality is more important and screw the update frequency of the frontpage. In the long run, yeah, that might reduce the number of new users with fresh ideas causing the site to stagnate. Or maybe that's what's been happening already, since so many people have been complaining about K5 going downhill.

Looking for political forums? Check out "The World Forum". News feed available here on K5.
[ Parent ]

OMG! But you're so WRONG! (none / 0) (#365)
by fluxrad on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 05:54:32 PM EST

There was a section page voted up two days ago! Content is being created at warp speed!

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
Kuro5hins problems are nothing (2.75 / 4) (#360)
by GenerationY on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 12:07:07 PM EST

of the sort. Its no longer new, collaborative media has been and gone, Rusty is no longer being interviewed by Wired magazine, and everyone who even vaguely wanted one has a blog. The last chance to maintain momentum for this site and its members (the CMF) was fumbled in circumstances I have never properly understood, and allowed to die. Edgy, unconventional people with the original perspectives and wide experiences or expertise that are required to make a telling contribution are now no longer attracted to this site. Its old hat.

In short, the circumstances that led to the early success of this site are not reproducable and the proposed changes will make not one jot of difference.
.


well, (3.00 / 3) (#361)
by the ghost of rmg on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 12:21:39 PM EST

you're right, in part, but the site could still be made exciting again if rusty make a good faith effort to understand how people think, how things have changed, and so forth. or he could just let me run the site, which would hit an entire flock of birds with one stone. it would be like a pinball machine or something.

anyway, edgy, unconventional people are exactly the kind that the queue system eliminates. people who know they have something worthwhile to say are not willing to put up with the bullshit rusty thinks will maintain "quality" (and which, as a matter of fact, has utterly failed to do so). hell, it's the reason i don't write articles about my real life interests.

but to address your main point, people still like community blogs and the general idea of this site is a compelling one, even today. the problem is that the community, because of the way the system so heavily favors rejection and negativity, is a bunch of nihilistic losers who never contribute anything of value themselves and chase away the very few that could infuse the site with the "quality" they think comes from high numerical standards.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Format (none / 0) (#370)
by calumny on Sat Feb 12, 2005 at 02:46:56 PM EST

Perhaps this is a function of my own poor attention span, but I have difficulty digesting the amount of information on the K5 frontpage. There are three columns, a header and a footer, and in each column there are multiple sections. It is also possible to change sections, in which case this information is reshuffled, expanded or changed. The sheer amount of words in a panoply of different contexts - does this link want me to buy something, comment on something or read about something? - is overwhelming even to someone who is familiar with the interface. It's nice to have the ability to summarize and search the entire site, check user information and buy ads, but I believe it's overkill to display it all on the front page. And the journal section? Does the front page need a dozen links to three-sentence accounts of someone's latest experiments with drugs? Remember when Google was the only search engine that didn't have a 600kb frontpage with image maps and javascript? Remember how good that felt in comparison to Yahoo? Perhaps this feeling could be extended to K5.

your ideas intrigue me (none / 1) (#371)
by the ghost of rmg on Sat Feb 12, 2005 at 03:00:44 PM EST

and i wish to subscribe to your newsletter.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
What? NT (none / 0) (#400)
by calumny on Thu Feb 24, 2005 at 12:37:52 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Bad idea (none / 1) (#372)
by Legion303 on Sun Feb 13, 2005 at 02:08:00 AM EST

If I want lots of content, I'll glance at Slashdot's shitty front page. Most of the stories are pure crap, and not worth reading--witness today's "Paranormal predicting random numberz generator!!!1!" story over there. I read Slashdot to mock people; I read K5 because every single article interests me, even when I disagree with the author.

It's the economy, stupid! (2.50 / 2) (#374)
by cribeiro on Sun Feb 13, 2005 at 07:48:22 PM EST

Ok. The subject is a poor play of words. But I sincerely believe that it applies to K5 issues.

There was at one time, before big time blogging, when K5 ruled. It had it all. A good community, lots of good content, and a top notch publishing system for.... 2000 standards?

Let's face it. People are lazy. In 2000, K5 was an astonishingly good publishing platform. Today, it's fairly easy to publish elsewhere. What's better, people got it all. Templates. Nifty Javascript-based editors. Programmable APIs. But on K5... the user interface has not seen any noticeable improvement. It's more or less standard K5, with improvements under the hoods -- for scalability, security -- but still the same old publishing system. It is unnaceptable outdated for today's standards... marketing-wise (yes, marketing).

Let's face it. People are selfish. For most people, being part of an community is important, but this does not mean that they want to be part of the same community forever. As new communities thrive, people move on.

Let's face it. People hate change. Oops. Did I say that? It's more complex in fact. If you change something that they are used for -- like today's obnoxious K5 UI & its quirky rules -- they hate it. But they gladly accept it, when then decide that it's time to move on, for whatever reason.

Why does it matter? First of all, the environment needs to be pleasurable. It does not need all those nifty Flash popups, thanks. But it needs to be well designed. And design rules that were brilliant in 2000 are outdated for 2005 standards.  Also, if K5 wants fresh content, it has to make content writing convenient. A better draft system, perhaps. A better markup language support, with wiki-style extensions for the auto format mode (in fact, this can well be the case right now... but there is hint in the UI for that). A better pre-voting discussion system: it could allow articles to be revised, and evolve, before getting posted to the home page.

Had it changed with the time, K5 could be the blog of the blogs. But it has chosen a different route, the route of dinosaurs. Change with the environment, or get extinct. Biology works like that. Economy, too.

Superficial Opinions. (none / 1) (#396)
by davibennett on Sat Feb 19, 2005 at 11:10:07 PM EST

I come through here infrequently, but a couple things. - Looking at blogs I find the basic engine underlying this to be still at the top. One thing lacking in virtually every other blog publishing system is the ability to thread and link to comments. As one whjo happens to believe that comments can often be more important than original posts this structure alone puts in well ahead of virtually every other blog engine. - Overall I don't know many of the details of the underlying structure and "community." However from what I can make out of participants there are many who are quite intelligent, in some cases a lot of the conversation would be the envy of many blogs or groups. So it seems to me the basics are sound. I really have not bothered to explore some of the other mechanics (the role of polls etc.) that seem to be driving this conversation. What they seem to suggest is attempts at organizational structures that the "blogosphere" isn't even considering. I'd be interested in explanations and links that give me some better sense of the larger issues that seem to be fueling this debate, though I'll also take a skim to see if I can get the grasp myself I'm not sure if this information is easy to find. Overall I personally am not particularly concerned about topicality. For example I bookmarked the discussion on Wikopedia because it struck me as a good introduction on the power of the scoop engine, the kind of development a powerful comments section could create along with a good commentary on issues involved in building "collaborative media." I fairly regular drop this link (once or twice a month) into discussions where I think it relevant and will probably continue to do so for some time, it offers new perspectives to individuals who have created well written blogs, but think the usual format is the cutting edge of tools and "non broadcast model" (eg, not top down) media. Within this context the idea of diaries is radical. I think this conversation may be of the same nature, a discussion of organizational and "community" issues that will become relevant to the mass mediums (eg. simple blogs) as they evolve. I would note within this context that what people percieve of as failures are also lessons to be learned.

As a side note. (none / 0) (#397)
by davibennett on Sat Feb 19, 2005 at 11:14:08 PM EST

It would be nice if the default format was something besides html.  

[ Parent ]

that would represent a good design decision. (none / 0) (#399)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 07:28:10 PM EST

they don't do things like that here.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
new user (none / 0) (#398)
by lechard on Sun Feb 20, 2005 at 04:06:03 AM EST

I finally joined k5, after years of paying k5 sometimes weekly, sometimes monthly, but mostly hey-let's-scoop-the-bottom-of-the-barrel visits.

The more often people pronounce k5 dead the stronger the "legende ofe k5e of yore" becomes. I'm now fully convinced that this thing really won't ever die. Or that if it does it will have been better than it ever actually was.

Yea, but the diaries... (none / 0) (#403)
by paxman on Sun Feb 27, 2005 at 07:44:02 AM EST

..are usually about some jackass college or high school student who has done an acid hit somewhere, and it details their attempt to remember the trip in which they tried to get in some chick's pants. Why would I want to read such crap? I've stopped reading it precisely because of that reason.

Or they say really stupid shit like "My ass, discuss". What a waste of people's time.

However, I think I'd agree that the process to get a story published may be a tad too stringent.

On the Front Page and Maintaining a Reasonable amount of Content | 405 comments (392 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
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